Slinking through your neighborhood. Darting across the highway. Fluttering along your favorite hiking trail. Wildlife is all around, even when we don’t see it. So, what exactly are these animals up to? Camera traps can tell us!
These devices use motion or heat-detecting sensors to snap photos as animals run, jump, or fly by, providing a rare glimpse into the secret lives of wildlife—and clues that help us protect them.
Located on the Museum's top floor, Caught on Camera features remarkable images of southern California wildlife “caught” on film with the help of camera traps. You’ll see flying squirrels mid-leap, bobcats in backyards, and maybe discover local species you’ve never heard of before (what’s a ringtail, anyway?).
In keeping with the Museum’s binational focus, all information in Caught on Camera is presented in both English and Spanish.
The “wildlife selfies” that come from camera traps aren’t just fun to look at. They’re also an important tool for protecting animals, plants, and ecosystems. Learn how The Nat’s scientists and partners use camera traps to understand and address the challenges facing wildlife in our unique corner of the world, from helping wildcats cross busy roads to investigating a rare succulent’s pollination mystery.
Many people set up simple camera traps to learn about the animals around their own homes and communities. Even security cameras can reveal some truly surprising visitors, reminding us that we share space with wildlife every day.
Be part of Caught on Camera by sharing your photos of wildlife in your backyard or neighborhood. We’d especially like to see images taken with motion or heat-activated cameras, such as camera traps or home security devices, but all photos are welcome.
Please submit photos using the form below. Photos should be submitted in a JPG format and no larger than 4MB in file size.