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Camera traps and the images they generate are becoming an essential tool for field biologists studying and monitoring terrestrial animals, in particular, medium to large terrestrial mammals and birds. In the last five years, camera traps have made the transition to digital technology, where these devices now produce hundreds of instantly available images per month and a large amount of ancillary metadata (e.g., date, time, temperature, image size, etc.). Despite this accelerated pace in the development of digital image capture, field biologists still lack adequate software solutions to process and manage the increasing amount of information in a cost efficient way.

Wild.ID is a software application developed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center in the context of the the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network (TEAM - www.teamnetwork.org), a global network that monitors terrestrial vertebrates to address these issues. Wild.ID can manage and process large amounts of digital camera trap data and make it available to the broad camera trapping community. It can run locally on a laptop or desktop computer, without requiring an Internet connection, as well as the ability to run on multiple operating systems; an intuitive navigational user interface with multiple levels of detail (from individual images, to whole groups of images) which allows users to easily manage hundreds or thousands of images; ability to automatically extract EXIF and custom metadata information from digital images to increase standardization; availability of embedded taxonomic lists to allow users to easily tag images with species identities; and the ability to export data packages consisting of data, metadata and images in standardized formats so that they can be transferred to online data warehouses for easy archiving and dissemination. Lastly, building these software tools for wildlife scientists provides valuable lessons for the ecoinformatics community.