Calgary launches 'citizen science' tool to identify wildlife in photos taken by hidden cameras

The City of Calgary just launched a new online tool that allows Calgarians to catch rare glimpses of wildlife captured by hidden cameras set up in 12 city parks.

The Calgary Captured tool brings up images one at a time and asks users to help classify animals observed within the frame, which could include badgers, elk, grizzly bears, moose, raccoons, red foxes and white-tailed deer, to name a few.

The project is meant to help the city understand not only what animals are in the area, but more importantly how they're moving.

Chris Manderson, urban conservation lead with the City of Calgary, told the Calgary Eyeopenerin late January that this "citizen science" initiative would be launched on the volunteer research website Zooniverse to enlist the help of Calgarians, to crowdsource the identification process.

The city hopes this information will inform conservation decisions and reduce harmful human-wildlife interactions.

Even if you're not a wildlife expert, the city encourages you to participate. The online tool tells people not to worry if they're "not 100% sure," as many people will see each photo, and errors will likely be filtered out.

Researchers will examine photos that generate multiple classifications.