A camera trap is a remotely activated camera that is equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor, or uses a light beam as a trigger. Camera trapping is a method for capturing wild animals on film when researchers are not present, and has been used in ecological research for decades. In addition to applications in hunting and wildlife viewing, research applications include studies of nest ecology, detection of rare species, estimation of population size and species richness, as well as research on habitat use and occupation of human-built structures.
Camera traps, also known as trail cameras, are used to capture images of animals in the wild with as little human interference as possible.The introduction of commercial infrared-triggered cameras in the early 1990s has seen their use dramatically increase. With advancements in the quality of camera equipment this method of field observation has become more popular among researchers. Hunting has played an important role in development of camera traps, since hunters like to use them to scout for game. These hunters have opened a commercial market for the devices which have led to many improvements over time.