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New live cam technology might help conservation

Cara J

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A few months ago, close to two million people watched a live stream of two bald eaglets emerge from their shells at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C. Late last year, the public was also able to watch the early months of a giant panda on a webcam set up at the Washington National Zoo, before the roughly 18-pound bear cub made its public debut in January. In the past few years, however, live streaming webcams of wildlife have expanded from broadcasting only from zoos and aquariums to giving viewers a look at wildlife species in their natural habitat in national parks. In an ongoing study, Jeffrey Skibins and Ryan Sharp, assistant professors of park management and conservation at Kansas State University, are looking at how these live videos of wildlife affect people’s perception of wildlife as well as their ideas about conservation compared with people who actually visit the parks. “It’s an emerging technology,” Skibins said. “In general, there’s not a lot of information about the impacts of these webcams and internet-based technology that allows people to encounter real wildlife in a virtual way. Our question is: What does it mean for conservation? Is there a conservation impact [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/new-live-cam-technology-might-help-conservation/

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