Some animals in the wild are so elusive and hard to glimpse that they’re almost impossible to capture with a camera. This is why researchers often use trip cameras with motion sensors that film or photograph whenever an animal is in the vicinity. The Smithsonian today launched a new searchable website, siwild.si.edu, that presents more than 202,000 wildlife photos captured in this manner. The website both still photos and video clips of more than 200 species of mammals and birds, and you’ll also be able to learn more about each species by clicking through the reference links leading to Encyclopedia of Life, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s own “North American Mammals” page.
“This site provides the public a glimpse of what the scientist sees when surveying remote places,” said William McShea, research wildlife biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. “Not every photo is beautiful but every photo provides information that can be used to conserve wild animals. It is addictive to scroll through the photos at a single site and see the diversity that walks by a single camera in the forest.”