Creating a community around developing Autonomous Camera Traps for Insects - Podcast Talk by Dr. Tom August

10 May 2023

In a recent episode of WILDLABS Variety Hour, Dr Tom August, a project partner at MAMBO, highlighted the importance of insect monitoring and the development of automated camera traps. Emphasizing the need to understand and protect insect populations, Dr August discussed the work being done in the field.

He began by addressing the surprising lack of representation of insects in the widely known Living Planet Index, which primarily focuses on vertebrates. Insects play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem balance and are integral to almost every ecosystem. Recognizing the urgency of the biodiversity crisis facing insects we need increased efforts in monitoring and understanding these species.

To address this issue, Dr August introduced the AMI Trap, an innovative technology for monitoring moths. This system utilizes UV light to attract moths to a board, where a camera captures their images. Developed in collaboration with engineers at the UK Center for Ecology & Hydrology, the Amy Trap has proven to be robust and versatile, with the ability to function underwater and withstand extreme temperatures. 

Close collaboration and knowledge sharing within the community are key factors, as Dr August considers, which serve to the benefit of biodiversity. He discussed the establishment of the WILDLABS Forum, a platform that connects individuals working on insect monitoring projects. Through this forum, researchers and enthusiasts can exchange ideas, share experiences, and accelerate insect monitoring and conservation progress.

You can listen to the full podcast here to learn more about his insights and the exciting advancements in insect monitoring.

By raising awareness and fostering collaboration, MAMBO and its partners aim to contribute substantially to biodiversity conservation and protect the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems.