Published on 23 April, 2014
|These “critter cams” let viewers share in the daily lives of animals usually hidden in forests, groves or high atop trees
Axis Communications, the global leader in network video, recently celebrates Earth Day by highlighting non-profit organisations who raise awareness of wildlife and conservation projects through live Web streams of animal habitats using Axis network cameras.
These “critter cams” let viewers share in the daily lives of animals usually hidden in forests, groves or high atop trees. The high-quality streams, often running 24/7 in HDTV-quality, are an important educational tool to protect, preserve and promote awareness of wild animals and the threats they face in a changing environment.
Video plays a significant role in building an emotional bond between people and the animals they view, which can encourage continued donations to support the cause.
The video also contributes to scientific discovery and aids in the rehabilitation of injured wildlife – all without disrupting animal habitats. Check out the following links for up close and personal encounters with birds, bears and manatees, and learn more about each organisation below:
- See herons, albatrosses, owls, hawks and more at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology live streams with AXIS Q6044-E PTZ Network Cameras, AXIS P3364-LVE Network Cameras
- See bald eagles at the American Eagle Foundation live stream with an AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Network Camera
- See bears, eagles, hawks and vultures at the Wildlife Center of Virginia live streams with AXIS Q6035 PTZ Network Cameras and AXIS P3367-V Network Cameras
- See the Save the Manatee Club Web stream, underwater and above, with AXIS P5534-E PTZ Dome Network Camera
Cornell Lab of Ornithology: From the treetops to the desktop
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a part of Cornell University, has been actively expanding their Web streaming offerings since 2012. “The ability of birds to captivate and engage people is nearly unlimited,” said Bird Cam Project Leader Charles Eldermire. “However, not everyone has access to their world. Our cams offer an intimate perspective into the everyday lives of birds, providing something at once both ordinary and extraordinary.”
The Cornell Lab has installed Axis
network cameras at sites around the
country, including an AXIS P3364-LVE
Fixed Dome Network Camera at a
great blue heron nest in Ithaca, New York
The Cornell Lab has installed Axis network cameras at sites around the country, including an AXIS P3364-LVE Fixed Dome Network Camera at a great blue heron nest in Ithaca, New York and an AXIS Q6044-E PTZ Network Camera at an albatross nest in Kauai, Hawaii. The Cornell Lab chose Axis because of their rugged, ready-to-install enclosures, features such as PTZ capabilities, colour-at-night Lightfinder and remote, browser-based management options.
In Ithaca, the great blue heron camera captured previously undocumented courtship and breeding behaviour, adding scientific benefits to educational and awareness milestones already achieved.
“The amazing thing is that the public is at the crest of that wave of discovery right there next to us, and the relevancy of those observations, both to science and in the individual's own experience, is a very empowering and engaging tool to connect people with birds and the natural world,” Eldermire said.
American Eagle Foundation: Face to face with a national symbol
The America Eagle Foundation (AEF) in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has also found the family life of birds to be a major draw for the public. The AEF operates the largest bald eagle breeding and educational centre in the United States and has been working to protect the national icon since 1985. In 2013, they began live streaming video and audio from an eagle nest in Florida with an AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Dome Network Camera. The project was surveyed and installed by Florida-based systems integrator JES Hardware Solutions.
The eagles, nicknamed Romeo and Juliet, have raised 11 eaglets since 2008 in their nest 80 feet up a slash pine tree. With the camera installed, a worldwide audience was able to watch their newest children, Samson and Delilah, hatch, grow up and begin lives of their own.
“This year, hundreds of thousands of viewers were able to experience all the excitement without disturbing the day-to-day life of these birds,” said AEF founder and president, Al Cecere.
The network-based PTZ cameras are controlled remotely by AEF operators or through presets established in the user-friendly interface. The operators can pan the camera instantly to the nest, branches where the eagles relax or the nearby lake. They can even zoom in on specific details, like the eagles’ eyes or an individual feather.
“It’s amazing how close the cameras can get and still be totally in focus,” said Cecere.
The Wildlife Center of Virginia: Caring and sharing with IP video
The Wildlife Center of Virginia, a wild animal rehabilitation hospital, set up Web streams with systems integrator Johnson Controls, Inc. using AXIS Q6035 PTZ Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P3367-V Fixed Dome Network Cameras to observe injured or orphaned animals brought to their organisation, including eagles, hawks and bears.
The Cornell Lab chose Axis because
of their rugged, ready-to-install
enclosures, features such as PTZ
capabilities, colour-at-night Lightfinder
and remote, browser-based
The cameras have been a boon for education and fundraising. A dedicated community of viewers regularly chats in accompanying discussion boards and together raised over $5,000 for new medical equipment and supplies. The cameras play an integral role in the Center’s outreach program, and they often use video as a learning tool for classroom sessions with school children.
The cameras also help their veterinary staff monitor animals throughout their stay, especially during the spring when newborns arrive.
“Our veterinary and rehabilitation team spend a great deal of time caring for hundreds of injured and orphaned baby animals that need assistance. The cameras that we have at the Wildlife Center play a great role in helping us monitor these young patients. We can also use camera footage to train our rehabilitation externs who are the next generation of wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians,” said Director of Outreach Amanda Nicholson.
Save the Manatee Club: Streaming underwater over the Web
The Save the Manatee Club, founded by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett in 1981 to protect manatees in Florida and around the world, opened live streaming video channels in 2012 at a winter manatee refugee in Blue Spring State Park, Florida. The location can draw hundreds of manatees each season and is a prime spot for manatee research and documentation.
The Web streams raise awareness of the challenges manatees face and draw new supporters to the cause. The video also helps researches monitor manatee health and conduct population surveys for the site. The feeds capture other residents of the habitat, as well, including birds, turtles, alligators and more.
“When people can watch manatees, they are better able to identify with their plight. Since most manatees bear the scars of boating injuries, their very presence is a testimony to their resilience in the face of great odds. Having this unique window into the manatee’s world has moved many to come to their aid. Still, much more help is needed as the need is great,” said Pat Rose, executive director of the Save the Manatee Club.
The Save the Manatee Club plans to update their Web streams with an underwater HDTV 1080p AXIS Q6035-E PTZ Network Camera for the next season