Anyone who wants to observe pets or wild animals needs suitable technology. TechStage shows which WiFi, surveillance and wildlife cameras are best.
Digital cameras with wireless image transmission are not only suitable for monitoring your own four walls or for keeping an eye on the children in the back seat, they are also ideal for observing wild animals and pets.
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The introduction of digital surveillance technology in stables, bird houses or the like already caused displeasure with our guide: Nest box with camera for some readers. Does it have to be that way? Doesn’t that hurt? Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question.
The fact is, however, that most animals have no problems with video surveillance. This applies to both dogs and cats, who would otherwise have to avoid classic surveillance cameras, and also to most wild animals. Our inquiry to the Bavarian Bird Protection Association has shown, for example, that from the point of view of ornithologists there are no concerns about the use of a nest box camera. On the contrary: The Bird Protection Association itself uses such cameras. It is also generally important to create more breeding opportunities for birds. Our nesting box is also very popular with an integrated camera.
When monitoring in a dark environment, you should be smart in advance to determine whether the animal to be monitored could have problems with the IR light source required. When observing cats, dogs, horses and birds, however, the use of the technology is harmless.
The most important question, especially with wild animals and shy conspecifics: is the camera making noises? Experience shows that some cameras beep loudly when logging into the WLAN, for example. If the camera is only activated when needed or if it regularly loses the connection, repeated noise pollution occurs. In frightened animals this leads to unnecessary stress and in the worst case to dangerous situations. The same applies to the intercom function integrated in many cameras. It should be possible to deactivate this and then make no noise whatsoever. If in doubt, grab a pair of pliers: the loudspeaker and status beeper are quickly removed.
With surveillance cameras you should generally keep an eye on data protection – although this would not be necessary at first glance with pure animal observation. Ultimately, however, it all depends on what is actually being monitored. With the camera in the nest box (guide), chicken coop or terrarium, data protection plays a subordinate role. But if the camera is hanging in such a way that people or the neighboring property can also be seen, you should carefully consider what actually happens to the data. Videos and photos are often inadequately protected from access by third parties, especially with particularly cheap cameras. When monitoring sensitive areas such as your own home or garden, you should therefore pay attention to this and use a data protection-compliant device.
Ultimately, the choice of camera depends primarily on the planned location. The intended use determines which type of camera is suitable.