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Camera Traps….a vital tool used in the research carried out by the Najas Project.
To study snake behaviour within their chosen habitats our field researchers place devices in situ and analyse images to collect data. Camera traps are set up on timelapse mode. Unfortunately ‘PIR ‘(movement detection) is not effective for documenting cold blooded animals, however, timelapse allows us get an insight into the lives of these secretive animals.
Attached is a female Naja kaouthia who on this occasion inhabited a termite mound.
Our camera traps last for approximately three days post-placement, therefore, unsurprisingly we also capture images of the vast amount fauna within Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve.
Every Saturday – ‘Spotted Saturday’s’ – we will present these interesting and sometimes amusing images.
On 25th April 2016 Tyler organized surve for group of students that visited Sakaerat Environmental Research Station . They were lucky to find Naja kaouthia! Male was 942 g and 1.5 m. Snake was implanted and now is part of our project. Photo credit to R. Maki and M. Hogan.
On 29th May 2016 Monocled Cobra Naja kaouthia Nakao14 was noticed by Tyler who went jogging to the forest. Snake was crossing main road. Tyler, as he did not carry any handling tools, followed snake to very old termite mound. Once snake sheltered he blocked entrance with the stone and run like Forest Gump for back up. We dig the snake out and now Naka014 is part of our radio telemetry project. This snake is only female of Monocled Cobra that we currently radio track and second in history of our project. She is 1.56 m long and 870 g body weight. Unfortunately snake wasn’t a good model and she book it straight after release.
On Sunday 12th of June, Tyler with bird team noticed another Monocled Cobra crossing main road in the reserve. Snake retreated to the animal burrow. Lucky for us it was shallow and easy to access. After 15 minutes of chasing snake in different openings we pull him out. Naka015 is adult male 1.55 m and 1041 g. Snake was implanted with radio transmitter and release at capture site. This snake was captured within home range of Naka012, our longest radio tracked snake. Unfortunate this individual wasn’t happy to be a model and moved straight to the dense vegetation on release. This is only image I menage to take.
Our most recent N. kaouthia was noticed in the Dry Evergreen Forest forest by the bird team on 24th June 2016. Snake was crossing main road in the forest. Once encounter snake move off the road and hide in tree roots. On our arrival, after snake was left alone for about 15 minutes, we noticed that snake was sitting stil just next to the road. One of the easiest capture I remember. Naka016 is 1.65 m male. He weight just over a kilogram.
He has very distinguish hood mark, where mark is incomplete on top.
Yesterday I was catching up on some camera traps data. I found folder with pictures from mid December. This is really interesting timelapse of snake basking in front of his shelter. Enjoy.