Whether you’re a lifetime resident of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau or the briefest of seasonal residents, you know that you share your living space with a host of wild neighbors.
Squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, deer, bears, maybe even elk or, maybe, maybe, panthers − there’s a secret parade that’s staged just outside your sight every day and every night. They’re masters of stealth and they avoid you with a skill level that’d make a ninja resign in disgrace.
But Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library is offering you the means of turning a spotlight on the creatures living right next to you.
Motion-activated cameras are now available for check-out from the library for participants in the “North Carolina’s Candid Critters” initiative, which enables library users to participate in a statewide
To join the project and check out a camera, sign up and complete a brief online training session at NCCandidCritters.org. Cameras will be distributed to participants who have already registered.
Candid Critters is a state-sponsored study that makes cameras available through public libraries. Participants check out the cameras to mount on private property or public land, and weeks later retrieve the images for uploading to the Candid Critters website.
Approved participants will be able to use their cameras for a series of three-week deployments. Library staff will be available to help with uploading the images.
Data will be used to map trends in animal populations across the state. Typical images from the project — including deer, bears and bobcats in the eastern part of the state — can be viewed at
Candid Critters is a partnership among N.C. State University, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the State Library of N.C., N.C. Cardinal, North Carolina’s public libraries and the Smithsonian.
For more information, contact Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library at (828) 743-0215.