And so our cameras keep on clicking.
We can’t begin to tell you how excited and grateful we are. Thanks to all of you, we’ve raised over $36,000 to keep Snapshot Serengeti going through our funding gap. You did it. And all the funds raised over our $33,000 goal will go towards expanding the survey (read: replacement cameras to fill in the gaps left by hungry hyenas) and keep it running even longer.
Not only are the pictures produced by the Snapshot Serengeti fun and funny, breathtaking and surprising, they are also real scientific data — data that wouldn’t be possible without your help. By clicking away night and day, the cameras give us a window into the Serengeti that we’ve never had before. One photo is an anecdote; thousands – or in our case, millions – tell a story about the way this ecosystem works. We’re learning how all the large predators live together, even though they kill each other whenever they can. We’re learning how prey animals try to balance their need to eat with avoiding being eaten themselves. And because our camera survey is currently the biggest in the world, and we’re the first to use camera traps to answer these questions, we are actually developing new statistical approaches to use camera trapping data – approaches that other camera trapping projects around the world will be able to use as well.
And none of this science would be possible without you. Since we launched last December, you have helped us wade through three years of data that would still be piling up otherwise. And now you’ve helped us bridge the gap between our National Science Foundation funding. We’ll be applying to research grants in the coming months, and will keep you posted on our process. But one of the coolest things about the Snapshot Serengeti camera survey (besides the incredible pictures) is that it sits on an incredible foundation of long-term research in Serengeti — research that would have shut down had we not met our goal — making it much, much harder to start back up later on.
So thank you, once again, for helping us to bring you a Season 7. In the meanwhile, Seasons 5 and 6 are still up and running – so check them out! You never know just what you’ll find…