1. Create an iSeeMammals account! You can do this online, or when you download the iSeeMammals app to your Apple or Android smartphone.

2. Log in!

3. Collect and Submit data for iSeeMammals! 

An Observation is an observation of an actual bear or bear sign. Bear sign includes tracks, scat, hair, and markings. The location and time of the observation is important information. Submit observations with the app or on the website. We strongly encourage taking a photo to go with your observation.  See more details below!

A Hike is represents a series of GPS locations with timestamps. Record a hike with the app, but you can only view your hikes on the website. If you see bear or bear signs during the hike, you can also submit an Observation. Hikes are important even when there are no bear observations! By providing information "non-observations" , you help provide a better sense of how frequent actual observations are. 

A Trail/Fixed Camera is a camera set in a particular location that automatically takes photos when triggered by motion. Fixed cameras are commonly known as "trail cameras", "game cameras", or "camera traps". Use the app and website to set up a fixed camera, and the website to report data from it. By using iSeeMammals to keep track of when a camera is on, you provide information about "non-observations", giving  a better sense of how frequent actual observations are. 

Check out this video from DEC on how to use and setup game cameras to capture wildlife images.

Check out our Tips Page for recommendations on how to submit data.

** We are in the process of updating our instructions. While we think the app and website are pretty intuitive to use, we are also creating short tutorial videos. The tricky part can be making sure that the photos you submit have the right time and location information. Please be patient with us! Thank you!

An Introductory video about iSeeMammals


This short 2 minute video provides an introduction to the iSeeMammals project and describes the 3 kinds of data that you can submit to help black bear research in New York: observations, hikes, and trail cameras. 



How to Submit an Observation

  • Observations are instances of when you see a bear or bear signs (scat, tracks, hair, markings). The location and time of the observation is the most important information to submit.
  • Observations can be submitted through the smartphone app or website. If you have a photo of the bear or bear signs, please include it. If you have multiple photos for a single observation, just choose one to include.
  • Observations currently do not accept videos. It is too much data for us!  If you have a video, either submit an observation without a photo -  or better yet, take a screenshot from the video. When you attach the screenshot to the observation, please make sure the location and timestamp reflect the observation and not the screenshot.
  • For more details, watch the video below (4 minutes). The website portion starts at 2:34.

How to Submit a Hike


Hikes can provide information both about when you see bear/bear signs and when you do not. Use the iSeeMammals app to record a hike. If you happen to see a bear or bear signs during the hike, you can also take a photo and submit that as an Observation (see above). 

Hikes can only be submitted through the app. The website allows you to view and delete  hikes. 

  • For more details, watch the video below ( ~3 minutes). 

How to Submit Trail/Fixed Cam Data


Trail/Fixed Cameras provide information about when you see a bear as well as when you do not. Photos of bears from trail cameras are important information, but it is most useful when you also use iSeeMammals to keep track of when the camera is on. This way, you provide information about the time period during which the camera saw bears ad a better sense of how frequent actual bear observations are. 

To set a trail/fixed camera, you need the app and the website. The app is necessary to set up the initial location. Once it is set up, you can use the website to update/change the location of the camera. ** If you do not have a smartphone, contact us. **

To update the history log of when the camera operates, use the app and/or website. You can stop and restart the log.

To submit photos from the trail camera, use the website.  Make sure your camera is already entered into iSeeMammals, and that the history log indicates the camera period that the photo came from has ended. If it has not ended yet, you can use the website or app to end it. Then click into that camera period, and you can upload and submit photos. Please ensure that the timestamp from the camera photo falls within the start and end dates of the camera period. If it does not, you can manually change the start/end dates before you upload the photos. **If your camera has bear photos but the camera was not previously registered with iSeeMammals, you can still submit the photo by first entering the camera into iSeeMammals and then backdating the start/end periods. We much prefer you do this than to submit it as an Observation!**

We do not currently accept videos from trail/fixed cams. It is too much data for us! We recommend submitting photos, or taking a screenshot from the video to submit.

  • For more details, watch the video below (5 minutes). The website portion starts at 3:27.

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