Archive by Author | Sarah Cameron

A Sloth or a Bear?

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

A sloth or a bear? How about a sloth of bears!

Did you know that a group of bears may be referred to as a sloth or even a sleuth? Check out this sloth of black bear captured by a Douglas County Snapshot Wisconsin volunteer.

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Are you interested in exploring the wonders of Wisconsin wildlife from your home? Visit www.SnapshotWisconsin.org to view images captured from trail cameras across the state. It’s a fun and educational activity for all!

Juvenile Bald Eagle

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

The sight of the bald eagle soaring through the sky is a treat for anyone to witness, but have you ever seen an eagle this close-up? With a wingspan that pushes six feet, the bald eagle dwarfs not only other raptors, but many of our Wisconsin animals as well.

This incredible shot of a juvenile bald eagle was captured on a Bayfield County Snapshot Wisconsin trail camera!

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Are you interested in exploring the wonders of Wisconsin wildlife from your home? Visit www.SnapshotWisconsin.org to view images captured from trail cameras across the state. It’s a fun and educational activity for all!

Displaying Spring Turkey

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

Here’s a fun fact – adult turkeys can sport up to 6,000 feathers! Snapshot Wisconsin volunteers get the unique opportunity to witness these birds struts their feathers through the lens of their trail camera during the turkey breeding season each spring. Take a look at this tom captured in front of an Adams County camera!

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Did you know you can view and classify photos collected from Snapshot Wisconsin cameras across the state at www.SnapshotWisconsin.org?

How Much Do Elk Antlers Weigh?

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

This snowy Snapshot Saturday features two bull elk captured on a trail camera in the Black River State Forest. Here’s a fun fact: elk antlers can weigh up to twenty pounds each and reach a spread of four feet! Learn more fun facts about elk here.

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/.

World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day

A celebration for the world’s wild animals and plants, World Wildlife Day was originated by the United Nations General Assembly and was first observed on March 3rd, 2014.

Why March 3rd? The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, more commonly referred to as CITES, was signed on March 3rd of 1973. CITES is an agreement between governments to ensure that international trade of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The agreement protects more than 37,000 species of plants and animals, and currently has 183 participating Parties across the globe.

We hope you join us today in appreciating and raising awareness for the diversity of plants and wildlife that call our state, our country, and our world their home!

Two Gray Fox Captured on Camera

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

The 29th of February is a rare and special occasion. Another rare and special occasion is capturing a stellar photo of the sly, nocturnal gray fox on a Snapshot Wisconsin trail camera.

Look closely to catch not just one, but two gray fox captured on camera by an Outagamie County volunteer!

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Did you know you can view and classify photos collected from Snapshot Wisconsin cameras across the state at www.SnapshotWisconsin.org?

Maps of the Zooniverse

The following piece was written by OAS Communications Coordinator AnnaKathryn Kruger for the Snapshot Wisconsin newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit this link

The opportunity to classify photos of wildlife from across Wisconsin draws a diverse array of individuals to our Zooniverse page. Some volunteers are trail camera hosts themselves and enjoy classifying photos from other camera sites. Zooniverse also offers this opportunity to those who are unable to host a camera but still wish to participate in the project.

The maps here were created using Google Analytics data, which can anonymously record information about users who access a webpage, such as their nearest city. This data shows us that Snapshot Wisconsin reaches an audience far beyond Wisconsin, and even beyond the United States! In total, volunteers from 696 cities across 41 countries have interacted with the Snapshot Wisconsin Zooniverse page since 2016. 190 of those cities are in Wisconsin.

Each dot represents just one city, regardless of the number of individuals who accessed the site in that location. For example, the dot for the city of Madison could represent thousands of users. Zooming in on Wisconsin, we see that many dots are centered around the most populous areas, such as Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago. This pattern can be attributed to the fact that these areas also host the highest concentration of suburbs.

Regardless of the volunteer’s location, each classification we receive is important to the success of Snapshot Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Map

World Map

Snowy Bobcat Scene

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

Bobcats have a coat that provides them with an excellent layer of camouflage for most of the year in Wisconsin. In contrast to the stark white snow, we get the chance to capture some amazing pictures of bobcats, such as this one captured by a Snapshot Wisconsin volunteer.

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Interested in hosting your own Snapshot Wisconsin camera? Visit our webpage to find out how to get involved: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/.

Evaluating Project Participation Through Zooniverse

The following piece was written by OAS Communications Coordinator AnnaKathryn Kruger for the Snapshot Wisconsin newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, visit this link

One of the easiest ways to participate in Snapshot Wisconsin is by classifying photos through a website called Zooniverse. Zooniverse is a crowdsourcing service that is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and the site has hosted Snapshot Wisconsin since 2016. Snapshot Wisconsin’s most prolific Zooniverse volunteer has contributed over 65,000 classifications to the project’s dataset. To date, 1.9 million trail camera photos have been processed through Zooniverse, and more than 7,500 different individuals have registered to participate.

Zooniverse volunteers play a pivotal role in Snapshot Wisconsin. Analyzing volunteer participation gives staff a better idea of how to effectively engage volunteers and can also offer researchers a look at how patterns in participation relate to the overall quality of the data acquired from the platform.

In the interest of exploring a quantitative assessment of volunteer participation in Snapshot Wisconsin through Zooniverse, researchers conducted a Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) of our volunteers. LPA can be used to organize a given sample size of people into groups based on observable variables, such as user activity over time. Through this, researchers were able to ascertain how many different groups of people exist in the sample, which individuals belong to which group, and what characteristics are unique to each group. This allowed researchers to hone in on specific patterns in user engagement.

Researchers identified measurable variables unique to each volunteer and their activity on Zooniverse between November 2017 and February 2019. These included the number of days each volunteer was active, time elapsed between active days, and the amount of time volunteers spent on the site on active days. From this, researchers parsed volunteers into three profiles: temporary, intermittent and persistent.

Volunteer Groups

Profiles of Snapshot Wisconsin volunteer participation on Zooniverse

Temporary volunteers are those who exhibited rigorous participation, but only for a short period of time. Intermittent are those characterized by the significant amount of time elapsed between a relatively small number of active days. Persistent are those who demonstrated high levels of activity across the entire period examined.

Measures of accuracy specific to each group revealed that temporary volunteers demonstrate lower accuracy in their classifications compared to intermittent volunteers. Though intermittent volunteers tended to allow more time to go by between active days, the consistent practice ultimately made their classifications more accurate.

In this instance, we may turn to an old adage: practice makes perfect. It comes as no surprise that practice and accuracy are correlated, and that volunteers become better at classifying photos with more time spent doing so. In the graphic on the right, all four photos are of porcupines, though they are of varying degrees of difficulty when it comes to classification. Though classifying photos like these may be tricky at first, over time certain characteristics begin to stand out more readily – a porcupine may be identified by their lumbering gait, or the way that their quills appear from different angles and in different light. The more frequently one sees these traits, the easier they become to identify. Volunteers who participate at any level, whether temporary, intermittent, or persistent, are of great value to the project, and the more time spent on Zooniverse, the more likely that the classifications assigned to each photo are accurate.

Porcupine

Citizen science is an integral part of the Snapshot Wisconsin project, and is in fact core to its mission, which is to rally the knowledge and resources of citizens across Wisconsin and throughout the world to build a comprehensive and highly accurate portrait of Wisconsin wildlife. No two Zooniverse volunteers are quite the same, and each individual informs our understanding of how citizen science can be utilized effectively in research. No matter how one chooses to participate, participation alone brings us closer to our goal.

The Magnificent Red Fox

Snapshot Saturdays are a weekly feature on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s Facebook page. Give them a Like to keep up with recent DNR news and to view the weekly Snapshot Saturdays. 

The magnificent red fox isn’t one to fear Wisconsin winters, in fact many Snapshot Wisconsin volunteers capture their most remarkable red fox pictures during our snowiest months! Check out this scene captured on a Grant County Snapshot Wisconsin camera.

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Did you know you can view and classify photos collected from Snapshot Wisconsin cameras across the state at www.SnapshotWisconsin.org?