Four photos of deer caught on Sandra Frey’s motion-sensor wildlife cameras in different areas of Oak Bay. The photographer has 39 that she sets up around Oak Bay as part of the Urban Deer Research Project to monitor population numbers and animal behaviour. (Photos courtesy of Urban Wildlife Steward Society)

Four photos of deer caught on Sandra Frey’s motion-sensor wildlife cameras in different areas of Oak Bay. The photographer has 39 that she sets up around Oak Bay as part of the Urban Deer Research Project to monitor population numbers and animal behaviour. (Photos courtesy of Urban Wildlife Steward Society)

Oak Bay urban wildlife photographer awarded for cutting edge research

Wildlife society uses motion-sensor cameras to track deer

The photographer who posts 39 wildlife camera traps around Oak Bay for the Urban Deer Research Project has been recognized with a prestigious award for her work.

Sandra Frey, a recent University of Victoria graduate, was given the MITAC award for wildlife camera trapping in the Rocky Mountains as part of her Masters in the School of Environmental Science. Frey has already taken the skill and applied it to Oak Bay, where she posts the camera traps on private and public property to monitor the urban deer.

Frey’s cameras are triggered by motion and heat.

Frey has been part of the Urban Deer Research Project since 2018 when they installed GPS trackers on 20 does and then collared another 60 does in 2019, which were also given the immuno-contraception booster.

READ MORE: Video: On the hunt for Oak Bay’s most wanted

“Cameras are one of the main tools to manage how deer are distributed across Oak Bay and how many there are,” Frey said. “Because Oak Bay wants to manage its deer population, we need to do it with as much robust research as we can.”

The photos add up to a lot of data that needs to be processed. For now, UVic students manually look at each image to see if it’s one of the 80 does that are tagged. In Oak Bay, the camera also records raccoons and barred owls (landing) but has not caught a cougar.

Reducing the detection of non-deer entities in the urban environment requires a lot of finesse, Frey said.

READ ALSO: Deer decked out for colourful contraception campaign

“There’s a lot of cats and pets, even hummingbirds, and it does create a lot of data that we have to go through.”

For her academic research, she used them to look at the entire carnivore community of wolves, bears, coyote, lynx, martens, wolverines, and more. The study looked at wildlife behaviour of two similar landscapes Kananaskis and Willmore Wilderness area, north of Jasper. While the landscapes are the same, Willmore is remote and protected from humans and development without any motorized access. There are only a few hiking trails into the perimeter, whereas Kananaskis Village and the surrounding area is a destination for outdoor recreation.

Frey’s research with Oak Bay is projected to continue for another two years.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read