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How do I prevent my trailcamera from being stolen?

Unfortunately, theft is a common problem when using trailcameras. Because camera traps are left unattended for long periods of time, they are easy targets for theft. Apart from the fact that this can lead to high costs, it also hampers your research. There is no panacea to prevent theft completely, but fortunately there are a number of measures to reduce the risk of theft, including

  • Make sure the camera is not near a path that is high visited.
  • Hide the camera well out of sight.
  • Camouflage your camera.
  • If applicable, place the camera low (~0.25 cm) or somewhat higher (>2.5m), so that the camera is less easily noticed.
  • Reduce the time that a camera is in the field.
  • Use a high-quality cable lock and a metal camera housing.
  • Use a camera with a SIM card, so that you can find out if your camera has been moved.
  • Set a PIN code so that only you have access to the settings of the camera.
  • Use a secured SD card. This does not prevent theft of the camera, but it does secure your images.

Theft sometimes also occurs through ignorance of the presence of the camera. It is therefore always good to leave a (positive) note with some information about the research and the request not to move the trailcamera. You can also approach the local community/manager(s) and inform them about the research. With a bit of luck, you will approach someone who is often present at the location and can occasionally check the presence of the camera.

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