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Snapshot Serengeti brings the secret lives of Africa’s jaw-dropping wildlife to your browser, providing a unique window on everything from aardwolves to zebra.
Margaret Kosmala
St. Paul, Minnesota
United States
7 Team Members

UPDATE : Thanks to you, we've surpassed our goal! Snapshot Serengeti is still running and awaiting your classifications. Check it out: snapshotserengeti.org

At this very moment in Serengeti National Park, hundreds of cameras are automatically taking photographs day and night, in corners of the park where tourists never go. These are camera traps – remote, automatic cameras that take pictures of passing wildlife – and they take some of the most amazing, natural and important photos of the Serengeti's animals. Our initial funding has run out, and we’re asking for your help so we can keep the cameras up and running for years to come.

About Us

We are a team of scientists studying the animal ecology of the Serengeti. Craig, Director of University of Minnesota’s Lion Research Center, has been studying Serengeti lions for over three decades. His work has been fundamental to understanding lion behavior, group living, and human-lion conflict, and to promoting lion conservation. Ali set up the camera traps to understand how lions share the Serengeti with the other large predators: hyenas, cheetahs, and leopards. Margaret is interested in using the camera trap images to learn how the Serengeti’s antelope balance the need to find food and to not get eaten themselves. Daniel and Stan have their feet on the ground in the Serengeti, tracking lions, replacing camera batteries, and making sure the project stays on track.

About the Camera Trap Pictures

Our camera traps capture over a million images of wildlife each year and we share them with you at SnapshotSerengeti.org. In fact, we rely on volunteers to help us identify the animals in each picture, because a million pictures is too much for us to handle! These pictures are taken automatically by our cameras and so have never been seen by anyone until they end up on the Snapshot Serengeti website, where anyone - including you! - can help us turn these photos into new scientific knowledge.

Snapshot SerengetiElephantZebra

Some of the pictures are truly amazing, ranging from beautiful landscapes to intimate close-ups of lions and cheetahs, wildebeest and zebras. Some contain things that scientists and tour guides who spend entire careers in the Serengeti never see: porcupines mating, rare antelopes, bat-eared foxes chasing an aardwolf. And some images simply capture the grace and beauty of wild animals in their natural home.

Our Science

All of these pictures help us to advance science and conservation by giving us information about where the animals go across the seasons and through the years. We are building on a wealth of information about lions that has been collected over the past half century. We radio-collar and track dozens of lions, so we know all about where the lions go and what they eat. Now we want to learn more about how lions coexist with all the other animals in the Serengeti. And that’s where the camera trap pictures come in.

We are answering questions like how large predators - lions, hyenas, cheetahs, and leopards – manage to live in the same area, even though they will kill each other if they get the chance. We are learning about how lions and other predators change their ranges when the great wildebeest migration passes through the area. And we want to understand how the many types of antelope try to find the best grass to eat, while avoiding getting eaten themselves.


What do we need?

It costs us about ten thousand dollars each month to keep our research going. Our current funding will run out in September, and so we need to raise $33k just to get us to the end of 2013. Here’s what we’ll do with that money:

  • $6,800: Salary for the field assistants, Daniel and Stan.
  • $4,000: Replacement camera traps. The problem with leaving your cameras outdoors with wild animals is that sometimes those animals find the cameras interesting. Hyenas bite them, elephants rip them off trees and stomp on them, wasps infiltrate them. So we need to replace them on a regular basis.
  • $9,000: Vehicle Maintenance. Everything from fixing tires punctured by spiky plants to reconnecting broken exhaust systems. Our vehicles take a beating, as we drive off-road day in and day out.
  • $9,000: Vehicle Fuel. It’s expensive out there and we have to cross hundreds of miles every week to survey the whole study area.
  • $1,200: Rent. We rent a house in the Serengeti where we and the field assistants live. It doesn’t have running hot water, a working toilet, or air conditioning, but the scenery is great!
  • $3,000: Indiegogo and Paypal fees, perk fulfillment


Find This Campaign On
raised by 714 people in 26 days
110% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$33,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 9, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $8USD
    Spice Up Your Screen

    In addition to the warm, fuzzy feeling that you'll get by donating to Save Snapshot Serengeti we'll also email you 5 awesome high-resolution images from our collection. You can use them to bring the Serengeti to your desktop or mobile device.

    267 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $28USD
    First Look

    Have your eyes be the first to see photos from Season 7. Funders at this level will get access to Season 7 for an entire week before we open it up to the rest of the world. Who knows what you'll find... + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images

    103 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $55USD
    Snapshot Post Card

    We'll take our favorite Snapshot Serengeti photo, turn it into a postcard, slap on a Tanzanian stamp, and send it to you from our Serengeti research station. You not only get an awesome picture to display, but bragging rights about those exotic smudges of dust on the back of the card. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7

    96 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $80USD
    Snapshot Greeting Cards

    We'll send you a set of 4 quality cardstock greeting cards. Each will feature a different fantastic photo and be guaranteed dust-free so you can mail them out to friends and family. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7

    27 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $99USD
    Wildebeest on Your Wall

    Think the last thing you want to see is *another* wildebeest? How about seeing all the wildebeest at once? A $99 donation gets you a wildebeest photo-mosaic poster to hang proudly on your wall. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7

    27 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $200USD
    Serengeti Self-portrait

    Tired of the same old selfie for your Facebook profile? Add a lion! Send us a photo of yourself and we'll bring it into the field and snap a picture of your picture next to our lions. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $288USD
    Dead Camera Centerpiece

    "Are those...teeth marks?" Impress your guests with a mauled camera trap straight from the Serengeti. We lose somewhere between 30-50 cameras a year to hyenas, elephants, baboons, fire, rain, and ants. We'll send you one of these dead traps along with the last picture it ever took. Ants not included. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster + Serengeti selfie

    11 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $360USD
    Fancy Photograph

    Our camera traps aren't the only photographers in Serengeti. Our resident lion-tracker, Daniel Rosengren, has generously donated one of his world-class photos to our cause. For a $360 donation, receive this limited edition, gallery quality print, signed by the Snapshot team. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster

    4 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $520USD

    Your generous donation will not only purchase a new camera trap and theoretically-hyena-proof-case, but also the batteries and SD cards to keep this camera snapping away for years to come. In return, you'll get personalized access to all photos taken from your camera, as well as acknowledgment on the Snapshot Serengeti classification page for every photo taken by your camera. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster

    12 out of 125 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $1,000USD

    Want to sponsor a camera trap but are really tired of Thomson's gazelles? We'll let you *choose* the camera you want to sponsor from your favorite photograph. Please note that if your camera is subsequently swarmed by unwelcomed Thomson's gazelles, it's out of our control. + 5 awesome high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster

    1 out of 75 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $5,000USD
    In-person Presentation

    A member of the Snapshot Serengeti team will give a presentation at an event of your choice near Washington DC, Minneapolis, Chicago, Oxford (England), or in the Serengeti itself. If you're not local, we'll give a presentation to a classroom of our choice. If you're not sure whether you're local or not, please ask us. Unlike hyenas, we don't bite! + 5 high-resolution digital images + a First Look at Season 7 + Wildebeest on Your Wall poster + Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Cam

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $10,000USD
    Sponsor a GPS collar

    Think radio-collared lions are cool? GPS collars take it to a whole new level. Your donation will get you exclusive access to the live data coming in from our one-and-only GPS-collared Serengeti lion. + all the other perks

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
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