Marin Wildlife Picture Index

Using motion-activated cameras to study mammals on Marin public lands.

UPDATED: APRIL 6, 2018

Project Overview

The Marin Wildlife Picture Index is a collaborative project to help researchers learn about mammals living in Marin open spaces. A network of motion-sensor cameras placed on public lands collect images, without disrupting wildlife activity.

Cataloged images are entered in to a cloud-based database, allowing researchers to identify species, the number of individuals, and the date, time, and location of wildlife activities. This data will help establish baseline abundance of individual species and mammals in general, identify wildlife hotspots, and determine population trends to indicate the well-being of wildlife in the area. 

Wildlife Picture Index Project (WPI) technology is internationally used and recognized as a method of passively collecting reliable, accurate, and rigorous scientific data on wildlife diversity and abundance. Abundance is a metric that tells you the relative representation of animals within a given area. For this project, the relative area is where the cameras are set up in Redwood Creek Watershed and San Geronimo Valley.

This project relies on community volunteers who meet regularly to catalog images and help service nearly 200 field cameras. Over 5 million images have been gathered over consecutive years, beginning in 2014. View the calendar for upcoming volunteer opportunities.