Snapshot Serengeti is a project started by University of Minnesota researchers to learn more about wild animals in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. They’ve set up a grid of 225 cameras that take snapshots of animals, allowing the researchers to identify, track and study the animals.
The automatic cameras capture things that few scientists or tour guides ever see. It gives them insight into the animals, helping them figure out how animals are able to coexist. Plus, they capture some amazing pictures.
The best part of the project is that they need your help. The cameras take millions of pictures and they post them online and ask for your help identifying the animals in the pictures.
It’s easy. All you have to do is look at the picture and figure out what it is. If you’re not sure, they have all kinds of classification help so you can narrow it down and take your best guess. And that’s all they need—your best guess. If you’re not sure, they’ll use your best guess, along with other guesses to narrow it down and figure it out.
You’ll spot all sorts of cool animals while you’re doing it. I came across a herd of zebra, a lounging lion, an elephant that walked right past the camera, and the above gazelle that was checking out the camera. You’ll also come across lots of empty savannah, when the camera was triggered but no animals are visible. Those shots are kind of disappointing, but you’re still helping the researchers and it’s a beautiful glimpse of the Serengeti.
The researchers are also running out of funding and need your help. You can contribute to their Indiegogo project and keep the science going.