The Annenberg Foundation organization explore.org has teamed up with the Katmai National Park in southwestern Alaska to provide live video coverage of Brown bears feeding in salmon streams near Brooks Camp. A grant of $150,000 was made available to the Park Service by the Foundation to provide salary support for a seasonal media ranger, video equipment and educational programming about the bears in Katmai National Park. This effort allows bear viewing at Katmai National Park to anyone having an Internet connection.
Providing real time video of the feeding bears involved installation of six cameras, wind and solar power supplies, microwave data uplinks and remote control systems. The installation is based on lessons learned from a two-week test of two cameras during 2012. The cameras around Brooks Camp are part of a much larger network of webcams hosted by explore.org.
The system installed at Katmai gives viewers unique access to high quality images and video of Brown bears in their natural habitat. Due to its remote location, many people cannot take the trip to see the bears. These webcams provide us with a glimpse into the lives of Brown bears and the project grant allows the Park Service to provide educational materials on this iconic Alaska wildlife viewing experience. One viewing example can be seen with the camera at Brooks Falls.
Below is a time lapse view of the bears feeding at Brooks Falls:
The Katmai National Park offers an ebook download titled Bears of the Brooks River that is 8.2 megabits in size. A larger, interactive electronic publication on the bears is available for use with the iPad.