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March 2023: Camera Traps for the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

The CRB Response currently has about 3,000 traps deployed around the island. These black panel traps that most are familiar with, are each checked at least once a month. These traps help us to monitor populations and detect beetles that spread to new areas. Thanks to the work of Dr. Daniel Jenkins and his graduate student Mohsen Paryavi at the University of Hawaii, camera traps have been developed and deployed! In the past couple of months, about 12 of these camera traps have been deployed for trial in the field!

The camera traps still utilize our black panel traps but are now equipped with a camera which is powered by a solar panel. The traps are programmed to take a photo of the trap cup once every hour in the evening, when CRB are known to be active. The photo is then sent to a server where we are able to check the traps from our office. To take this technological innovation one step further, researchers at UH are also working on developing AI machine identification to detect when a beetle has been caught.

CRB Panel trap deployed on Oahu

With these hourly updates from the traps, we are able to get a better understanding about CRB. We’ve known Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles are night active, however, the camera traps help us to discover more about the specific times of night they are most active. So far, the traps have been catching between 6pm and 10pm but our data set is not big enough to draw any conclusions just yet. We hope future findings and analysis can help us to come up with more effective management strategies.

Photo of the 2 beetles captured in a camera trap deployed in the field.

We currently have 12 camera traps deployed but the goal is to deploy more. This can help us not only to get more information about beetle activities but also to save us time and resources spent checking the traps, especially in areas that are harder to access. This can help us to shift more focus to other field activities like breeding site surveys and palm treatments

If you ever see any issues with our traps, camera equipped or not, please let us know! You can report to our website by noting your location and the 10 digit trap number on the trap.


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