Wildlife cameras very frequently take pictures of people, often unintentionally, with the images then being used for conservation management purposes. In many cases this seems to be causing harm to the people being photographed, which can create conflict and costs for the conservation projects. Chris Sandbrook, Rogelio Luque Lora, and Bill Adams have been doing research on the social implications of wildlife camera traps.
Their work has now been published in an article in The Conversation, and a peer reviewed paper in Conservation and Society. They conclude that camera traps have great potential as a conservation tool, but they need to be used carefully and sensitively to avoid causing these unintended negative consequences. They are hoping to stimulate a conversation about these issues within the conservation and political ecology communities, ideally leading to some agreed guidelines on the appropriate use of surveillance technology within our field.