trail camera

Time-lapse cameras improve our understanding of invertebrate activity in the alpine zone

Understanding when a species is active in its’ environment is essential when designing inventory and monitoring protocols, especially for ectotherms whose activity depends on local weather conditions. The New Zealand alpine zone hosts a diverse native assemblage of invertebrates that are poorly understood yet likely to face an increasing number of threats, particularly associated with climate change and the range expansion of introduced pests.

Trail cameras enhance understanding of lizard behaviour in a remote alpine environment

The number and type of threats that a species is exposed to is often influenced by their activity patterns. For ectotherms, environmental conditions are likely to strongly influence activity, given that external heat is needed to reach body temperatures that promote physiological functions, including locomotion. As a result, one might expect ectotherms to avoid cold environments, such as the alpine zone, known for large temperature variations and prolonged winters.