Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arizona
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Arizona Project

Use of Citizen Scientists to Monitor Cameras for Jaguar and Ocelot Detection

January 2013 - January 2025


Participating Agencies


A large scale camera monitoring effort to detect jaguars and ocelots, across southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico requires extensive camera-checking hours to retrieve data from all the almost 200 cameras. This study will explore the possibility that citizen scientists can be trained by the team of experts conducting the project, coordinated by a graduate student (Emily Reynolds) and volunteer coordinator (Susan Malusa), and collect reliable data. The data was collected in the same way as data from the scientific-based project, then tested for reliability against data collected by the team members. All data is housed together is a large database managed for the jaguar monitoring project at the University of Arizona. Educational objectives were also addressed to assess how much learning took place for the citizen scientists from start to end of the MS portion of this project. Additional citizen scientists are continually being trained and are currently at 21; they are monitoring 8 mountain ranges in southern Arizona for jaguars and ocelots.