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

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
UPDATE: Search suspended for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY: A brief history of Bear Creek Camp

Malahat Logging Company began both Beach Camp and Bear Creek Camp

Most Read