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Bear collar camera video clips show life of bears

Posted: February 10, 2012 - 1:04am

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation has posted online, nine 10-second video clips and a 13-minute compilation of a day’s worth of clips obtained from research cameras mounted on bear collars. 

“The video clips provide an interesting perspective and important information in the daily habits of  these brown bears,” said Bruce Dale, ADF&G, Division of Wildlife Regional Supervisor. “It’s exciting to see the bear’s view, and we thought that the public would be interested in these clips.”

In May, 2011, ADF&G wildlife biologists equipped four brown bears in the Copper River Basin with prototype video cameras and GPS location recorders mounted on collars. The collar devices were programmed to take a 10 second video clip and record a GPS location every 15 minutes. This pilot study is part of the Nelchina Brown Bear Project, and it promises unprecedented insights into these bear’s behavior.

An assortment of the video clips are now available for viewing on the ADF&G website at  http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=brownbear.video.

Between May 17 and June 17, 2011, the cameras recorded almost 12,000 clips. These clips show brown bears playing, stalking, sleeping and eating in a variety of circumstances. Biologists are organizing and analyzing the footage and GPS data. The study took place near Glennallen in GMU 13A in Southcentral Alaska, where research on moose calf survival and bear distribution, abundance and demography is ongoing. Biologists have been studying brown bears in the Copper River Basin for years to evaluate the effects of high hunter harvest rates on the bear population as well as the bears’ impacts on the moose population.

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