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A method is described for high-resolution videography of crepuscular and nocturnal mammals under field or laboratory conditions. The closed-circuit television camera provides a usable image in daylight as well as dusk/dawn applications. Infrared or red light illuminators must be used for darker conditions. A monitor interfaces with a motion detector and time-lapse video cassette recorder to allow fully automatic recording of activity. The onsite camera can be located more than 60 m from the controls for pan/tilt positioning and lens adjustment. Although the components are not particularly small or lightweight, the system is reasonably portable and functions in a wide range of temperature/humidity conditions. Detailed, remote monitoring and recording of small mammal (or other animal) behavior are possible under conditions not conducive to the presence of, or perhaps intolerable to, human observers.
video method, low light observations, activity monitoring, pest control evaluation, mammals, bats, rodents, vertebrate pests
Vertebrate vector specialist, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Albany, NY