Axis 'critter cams' connect wildlife to the world thanks to conservation non-profits

On Earth Day, Axis recognizes role IP video plays in raising awareness of wildlife conservation through education, entertainment and endowment

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 organization, including eagles, hawks and bears. 

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.