Third web cam added to bison area in Grasslands National Park

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Third web cam added to bison area in Grasslands National Park SouthWest Saskatchewan Tourism  Parks Canada Grassland National Park Cypress Hills & Area Attractions Canada

If you are addicted to watching the bison roam at Grasslands National Park (GNP) through the convenience of your home computer, you’re probably not alone. Now there is yet another viewpoint as a new camera has been set up in the park so viewers can see the calving area in the national park.

Last summer GNP officials teamed up with explore.org to bring a live camera feed to Internet users around the world, of the bison in Grasslands. Two web cameras were set up near a known bison watering hole and a black-tailed prairie dog colony in the park. Powered with solar technology, individuals can view the bison remotely at explore.org/bison. There are many other types of animals from around the world that can also be seen on the site.
Last year, viewers may have noticed it took a while for bison to show up on the camera due to the fire that took place in the park, says Lisa Leuty, public relations and communications officer with the Saskatchewan South Field Unit of Parks Canada.
“This year we’re finding the calves and the cows are staying in the traditional calving area which is where the new camera is,” adds Leuty.
One of the main reasons this third camera was added, is because it shows the area the bison seem to hang out in more in the winter months.
“This is the traditional calving area in the park.”
So far the two original cameras have surpassed more than 1.1 million views, with hits from all over the world.
The bison were re-introduced to GNP in 2006 and are thriving. Black-tailed prairie dogs can only be seen in Canada in Grasslands National park making it even more of a novelty to be able to see them on a home computer.
It was also a unique experience for many viewers to see the grasslands recover from the prescribed fire. Officials with explore.org created a timelapse video of the fire and then the bison returning to the landscape as it greened up.
Leuty points out there is also opportunity to see other animals show up including burrowing owls, coyotes and badgers.
To some extent these cameras can also be a tool used by park biologists. Leuty says they were noticing last year that the number of prairie dogs didn’t seem to be as high as normal, but this spring have seen quite a few more prairie dog pups on the cameras.
“They’re not necessarily used for specific research, but can be used for other monitoring in the park. It offers a visual of what’s going on,” adds Leuty. “We’re hoping the new camera will provide information on the bison herd and calving — that we will be able to collate some more useful information…”
So far park officials have found working with those from explore.org to be a great experience.
“They do bring all facets of nature to people’s computers and desktops,” says Leuty.
The production company provides the cameras and equipment and hosts the site, while parks officials provide information, clean the cameras and help with any maintenance issues.
For more information about programs and activities at Grasslands National Park, visit the website located at: http://ift.tt/VVb0B5.

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://ift.tt/1wcNnyL

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