As part of his fieldwork with us last year, PhD student Ben Walton gathered data on crop-raiding primates (chacma baboons and vervet monkeys) to determine whether camera traps and field guards could work as an alternative to direct researcher observation.
In areas like Limpopo, South Africa, farmland has increasingly encroached into wild spaces and crop-raiding behaviour continues to lead to human-wildlife conflict with a negative impact on both humans and wildlife.
Direct researcher observation is a commonly applied method, but for large areas (such as commercial farmland) and for studies that are long-term, it is not always the most practical method. This study found that camera traps and field guard observations were able to predict crop loss on commercial farmland. Therefore, in the future, farmers and researchers might be able to utilise camera traps and their employed field guards to monitor anthropogenic foraging by wild species.