MICA - Muskrat and coypu camera trap observations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on 23 November 2023 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Publication date:
23 November 2023
CC0 1.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 116,529 records in English (73 MB) - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (55 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (19 KB)


This camera trap dataset is derived from the Agouti project MICA - Management of Invasive Coypu and muskrAt in Europe. Data have been standardized to Darwin Core using the camtraptor R package and only include observations (and associated media) of animals. Excluded are records that document blank or unclassified media, vehicles and observations of humans. Geospatial coordinates are rounded to 0.001 degrees. The original dataset description follows.

MICA - Muskrat and coypu camera trap observations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany is an occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO). It is part of the LIFE project MICA, in which innovative techniques are tested for a more efficient control of muskrat and coypu populations, both invasive species. The dataset contains camera trap observations of muskrat and coypu, as well as many other observed species. Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/inbo/mica-occurrences/issues

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via opendata@inbo.be.

This dataset was collected using infrastructure provided by INBO and funded by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) as part of the Belgian contribution to LifeWatch. The data were collected as part of the MICA project, which received funding from the European Union’s LIFE Environment sub-programme under the grant agreement LIFE18 NAT/NL/001047. The dataset was published with funding from Stichting NLBIF - Netherlands Biodiversity Information Facility.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 116,529 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Cartuyvels E, Adriaens T, Baert K, Baert W, Boiten G, Brosens D, Casaer J, D'hondt B, De Boer A, Debrabandere M, Devisscher S, Donckers D, Dupont S, Franceus W, Fritz H, Fromme L, Gethöffer F, Gouwy J, Herbots C, Huysentruyt F, Kehl L, Letheren L, Liebgott L, Liefting Y, Lodewijkx J, Maistrelli C, Matthies B, Meijvisch K, Moerkens D, Neukermans A, Neukermans B, Ronsijn J, Schamp K, Slootmaekers D, Tiggelman L, Van Donink S, Van der beeck D, Desmet P (2023). MICA - Muskrat and coypu camera trap observations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Version 1.11. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Occurrence dataset. https://doi.org/10.15468/5tb6ze


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 8a5cbaec-2839-4471-9e1d-98df301095dd.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


camera traps; public awareness campaign; flood protection; flood control; damage prevention; animal damage; pest control; invasive alien species; muskrat; coypu; Occurrence; Observation


Emma Cartuyvels
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Tim Adriaens
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Kristof Baert
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Warre Baert
  • Originator
Gust Boiten
Dimitri Brosens
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Jim Casaer
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Bram D'hondt
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Abel De Boer
Manon Debrabandere
Sander Devisscher
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Dennis Donckers
Silke Dupont
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Wouter Franceus
  • Originator
Heiko Fritz
Lilja Fromme
Friederike Gethöffer
Jan Gouwy
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Casper Herbots
  • Originator
Frank Huysentruyt
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Leo Kehl
Liam Letheren
Lydia Liebgott
Yorick Liefting
  • Originator
Wageningen University
Jan Lodewijkx
  • Originator
Claudia Maistrelli
Björn Matthies
Kelly Meijvisch
Dolf Moerkens
  • Originator
Unie van Waterschappen
Axel Neukermans
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Brecht Neukermans
  • Originator
Jelle Ronsijn
  • Originator
Kurt Schamp
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Dan Slootmaekers
Linda Tiggelman
  • Originator
Sanne Van Donink
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Danny Van der beeck
Peter Desmet
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Geographic Coverage

Belgium (Flanders), The Netherlands and Germany.

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.699, 3.518], North East [53.407, 8.33]

Taxonomic Coverage

The target species for this dataset are Ondatra zibethicus and Myocastor coypus, but many other species have been observed as well.

Species Accipiter gentilis, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Aix galericulata, Alcedo atthis, Alopochen aegyptiaca, Anas clypeata, Anas crecca, Anas penelope, Anas platyrhynchos, Anas strepera, Anser anser, Apodemus sylvaticus, Ardea alba, Ardea cinerea, Arvicola amphibius, Aythya fuligula, Bos taurus, Botaurus stellaris, Branta canadensis, Cairina moschata, Capreolus capreolus, Castor fiber, Cervus elaphus, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Coloeus monedula, Columba oenas, Columba palumbus, Corvus corax, Corvus corone, Cyanistes caeruleus, Cygnus olor, Cyprinus carpio, Dendrocopos major, Equus caballus, Erinaceus europaeus, Erithacus rubecula, Felis catus, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Fulica atra, Gallinago gallinago, Gallinula chloropus, Garrulus glandarius, Homo sapiens, Lepus europaeus, Luscinia svecica, Lutra lutra, Martes foina, Martes martes, Meles meles, Motacilla cinerea, Mustela erminea, Mustela nivalis, Mustela putorius, Myocastor coypus, Myodes glareolus, Ondatra zibethicus, Oryctolagus cuniculus, Ovis aries, Parus major, Phalacrocorax carbo, Phasianus colchicus, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Pica pica, Picus viridis, Podiceps cristatus, Procyon lotor, Prunella modularis, Rallus aquaticus, Rattus norvegicus, Sciurus vulgaris, Scolopax rusticola, Strix aluco, Sturnus vulgaris, Sus scrofa, Sylvia atricapilla, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Tadorna ferruginea, Tadorna tadorna, Tringa ochropus, Troglodytes troglodytes, Turdus iliacus, Turdus merula, Turdus philomelos, Tyto alba, Vulpes vulpes

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2019-09-18 / 2023-09-27

Project Data

Invasive alien species such as the coypu and muskrat pose a major threat to biodiversity and cost millions of euros annually. By feeding on rushes and reeds, these animals cause serious damage to the environment in which they live and endangered species suffer from habitat loss. The disappearance of reeds and digging in dikes represents a safety risk for humans in the lowland areas. With the LIFE project MICA (https://lifemica.eu), the partners from the participating countries want to develop a transnational plan for the management of coypu and muskrat populations in Europe and aim to reduce their population. The objective of an effective population control of coypu and muskrat is to protect lowlands from flooding, to prevent crop damage and loss of biodiversity. The objective of the project is to serve as a pilot and demonstration project in which ‘best practices’ are tested and new techniques are developed for a more efficient control of muskrat and coypu populations. By involving organisations from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the project also promotes international cooperation and knowledge exchange in the field of muskrat and coypu management.

Title MICA - Management of Invasive Coypu and muskrAt in Europe
Identifier LIFE18 NAT/NL/001047
Funding LIFE programme
Study Area Description Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany
Design Description This project uses a targeted sampling design. Animals are unmarked and camera traps are triggered with motion detection and time lapse. Media are classified at sequence level.

The personnel involved in the project:

Emma Cartuyvels

Sampling Methods

A standard protocol (https://lifemica.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Protocol-camera-traps.pdf) was followed to choose the location for the traps. The setup of camera traps was standardised for water habitat. Subsequently, 33 camera traps were deployed in four locations in Flanders and one in Germany. Once a month images were collected from the camera traps and uploaded to Agouti. Project members scored the images in Agouti.

Study Extent Four locations in Flanders and one in Germany were sampled using 26 camera traps in Flanders and 7 in Germany. These camera traps were located in areas where the presence of muskrat and/or coypu was suspected. The camera traps are motion triggered and therefore also collected images of other animals found in these locations.
Quality Control Data are collected using a predefined sampling protocol. All observations of muskrats, coypu, brown rats and European water voles are cross-validated by experienced project members.

Method step description:

  1. n/a

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 8a5cbaec-2839-4471-9e1d-98df301095dd