– It must be about tens of thousands – Dagsavisen

– It must be about tens of thousands – Dagsavisen

– Sorry, unfortunately we don’t have statistics on that, answers the Trade Union of the Electronics Industry, when Dagsavisen asks how many game cameras are sold in Norway.

There are no separate item numbers for game cameras. As a result, we do not get statistics on this matter, unfortunately, the Norwegian Customs Service replies when we ask how many game cameras are being imported.

Nor can the SSB say anything about the number of wildlife cameras.

– Unfortunately we don’t have numbers for that, what’s the feedback from there.

A few thousand a year

What’s for sure, though, is that a gaming camera is easy to get hold of. All you have to do is search Google and you will be almost inundated with offers to buy game cameras.

The XXL book “Make Hunting More Fun” writes about the game camera they sell. Biltema advertises one of its cameras as “a camera with an infrared sensor that activates the camera to take photos and video in the event of sudden changes in the surroundings, whether in daylight or in the dark.”

“A reliable game camera in 4K Ultra HD quality. 120° detection angle. Trigger distance up to 22 meters,” Elkjøp writes about one of the many game cameras they sell.

Friluftsmagasinet AS in Drammen also sells game cameras, and buyers are not far from each other.

– We sell a few thousand a year, estimates Managing Director Frederik Aserud.

– How many game cameras do you think are in Norway?

– It must be about tens of thousands. Aisrud replies that people buy such cameras online from abroad as well.

What is the purpose of these wildlife cameras?

– The usage area is getting more and more. It started with hunters, but now they’re also used to monitor barricades, shooting ranges and cabins to avoid vandalism and theft, Aserod replies.

– The quality of game cameras has improved a lot, and they have become easier to use, and now you can get a game camera for less than a thousand pounds, he continues.

– Are there restrictions on its use?

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– No, as long as the pictures are taken mainly of the animals and wildlife of the countryside, Aserod replies.

Cameras without permission

However, inquiries received by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority can indicate that it is not just animals that are photographed and photographed. This year, the Norwegian Data Protection Authority has been approached by individuals who interact with others using wildlife cameras to monitor, among other things, road facilities, neighborhoods and also remote areas.

Norway’s Data Protection Authority has no objections to the use of wildlife cameras in principle, says Marte Skaslien, a senior legal advisor there.

– At the same time, it’s important that you stick to certain guidelines for such use, since you obviously shouldn’t be watched in woods and fields, Skaslien points out.

The purpose, then, should be to capture animals only, and the camera should only be placed in places where there are usually no people.

– Another good measure is to provide a name and phone number in case someone is arrested nonetheless. Then the person can make contact, and it can be confirmed that any photo will be deleted.

There is also a separate requirement that you must obtain consent from the landowner before setting up the camera, Skaslien says.

One of the landowners involved is Statskog Corporation, which manages 59.4 million acres of forest and mountain areas.

Jo Inge Breisjøberget, Head of Hunting and Fishing at Statskog, stated that they received 23 requests to mount game cameras on Statskog land in the last year alone.

How many applications have been approved?

– Breisjøberget answers everyone who has applied in recent years.

– How many game cameras can there be on Statskog land now?

It’s hard to give an exact number. Breisjøberget replies that the minimum number of applications based on last year’s applications is 156.

But not everyone takes the trouble to apply.

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– It so happened that we came across or were notified of cameras that were set up without our permission, says Breisjøberget.

Game cameras are getting better and better, and even at night they can take good pictures, as this photo of two rooibos, taken for the Norwegian Institute of Natural Sciences' ScandCam project, shows.

100 new this summer

Hunters, nature photographers and ornithologists are all among those who apply to Statskog to hang game cameras. Wildlife cameras are also widely used by researchers and management. University College Inlandt has now deployed about 125 wildlife cameras.

– What are they used for?

– Various research and teaching purposes, for example for monitoring experimental plots, grazing animals and predators, answers Dean Maria Hornell-Wilbrand in the School of Applied Environment, Agriculture and Biotechnology.

The Norwegian Nature Inspectorate (SNO) has nearly 400 wildlife cameras. They are used, among other things, to monitor wolf breeding sites, and to document litters of arctic foxes.

– Wildlife cameras are also used in some cases on other species the SNO has been tasked with monitoring or controlling, explains SNO’s Department Leader Jan-Paul Pollstad.

The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) has deployed 600 of these cameras in Norway in connection with the ScandCam project.

– “ScandCam” monitors medium and large mammal species in the forest using a large network of wildlife cameras, says lead researcher John Oden at NINA.

– Today we have cameras in Viken, Innlandet, Trøndelag, Møre and Romsdal, Odden continues.

– Wildlife cameras are activated year round and are checked virtually. 4-5 times a year by local field staff.

Are you planning to deploy more cameras than you have today?

– Yes, we have been tasked with deploying 50 game cameras in Nordland and 50 game cameras in Finnmark this summer, Odden replies.

Anyone who wants to see the photos taken by NINA’s wildlife cameras can be on the site Wildlife Camera (nina.no).

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monitoring procedures

But what about privacy?

– In dialogue with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, NINA has developed procedures for camera monitoring where privacy considerations are taken into account, says Odden.

– Procedures include specially developed software that uses image recognition technology so that photos of people can be automatically scanned.

Odden can also say that all NINA wildlife cameras are marked with names and contact information.

– Have you come across wildlife cams posted by others?

– Yes, we sometimes watch other cameras, Odden replies.

The Norwegian Forest Owners Association can’t answer how many “other” cameras are hanging around the forests.

– We don’t have an overview of how many landowners get in touch with a request to set up game cameras or to what extent game cameras are set up without permission, says Hans Asbjørn K. Sørlie, director of forests and environment for the Norwegian Forest Owners’ Organization.

– Our experience is that a lot of use is to get an overview of the population and demographics of hunting game. It is often in the interest of the landowner, he adds, to have this knowledge.

Game cameras can be bought very cheaply.  This game camera can be purchased

– It must have a legal basis

When it comes to game cams set up in a private cabin, it’s strictly a personal or family-related activity, and applies to the private domain of individuals – as long as you only monitor your private property, says Marte Skaslien of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

On the other hand, if the camera is placed on barriers or similar places where others may pass or stay, you must have a legal basis, Skaslien points out.

The legal basis in such cases is usually to provide a balance of interests. It states that one must be able to demonstrate a necessary and objective purpose for the surveillance, and that that purpose overrides privacy concerns.

In this regard, Skaslien refers to Article 6 of the Personal Data Protection Act, where it is stated, among other things, that there are special considerations for personal data protection requirements when it comes to children.

– Moreover, information is needed, for example by signage in such cases, Skaslien adds about game cameras in barriers and similar places.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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