Ed Parnell's Cunning Plan

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Bear-cam gives wildlife experts a unique perspective

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Boo isn’t much of a photographer. He has a terrible eye for composition and almost all of his photos are dimly lit and out of focus.

But for researchers like Gordon Stenhouse, Boo’s photos represent a rare opportunity to see the world from a previously unattainable vantage: a bear’s eye view.

The photos are some of the first images to be captured with the help of a new tracking collar outfitted with a digital camera and GPS that will allow scientists to see the world from a grizzly bear’s perspective.

After more than five years of testing and prototyping, researchers from the University of Calgary and the Foothills Research Institute announced Tuesday that they have reached a licensing agreement with Lotek Wireless to develop and manufacture The Animal Pathfinder.

“This technology not only tells you where the bear is, but what it is doing,” said technology analyst Jim Wilson of Innovate Calgary, which helped to bring the collar to market. “It’s telling us how the bear is moving and how long it spends searching for food and socializing.”

Researchers are also hailing the technology’s ability to provide timely feedback on the impact of human development on wildlife.

“If there is any sort of natural resource development in an area, then this device can help assess exactly how that’s (affecting) the bear and how the bear moves around,” Wilson said.

via Bear-cam gives wildlife experts a unique perspective.

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Written by edparnell

November 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Animals

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