Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Keiter, D., Patterson, B., Dersch, C., Elliott, B., Rodgers, A., Benson, J. (2020). Camera Traps Detect Prey of Northern Carnivores. NORTHEASTERN NATURALIST, 27(2), N28-N33


Copyright © 2020 Eagle Hill Institute . Used by permission.


Use of camera traps for non-invasive data collection is increasingly common in wildlife studies. This technique presents a valuable, but generally unexploited, opportunity to learn about carnivore diet through direct observations of predators with prey. To highlight this potential, we present a collection of photographic observations from Michipicoten Island, ON, Canada, that improve our knowledge of the diets of northern carnivores. These include the first documentation of Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox) consumption of a Colaptes auratus (Northern Flicker) and the first photographic evidence of wintertime consumption of a Lithobates sp. (frog) by a Mustela erminea (Short-tailed Weasel). We discuss the implications of these observations and the use of camera traps to gather data on carnivore diets, including caveats to this technique.