Recently a newspaper article talked about a live webcam where you can watch brown bears catching salmon at Brooks Falls, in Katmai National park in Alaska. Loving nature as I do I couldn’t wait to check out this webcam. It’s fun and fascinating. The Katmai National Park, in a partnership with explore.org, has made it possible for us to view these remarkable animals up-close, in their own habitat. A site many of us would normally never experience.
Explore and Katmai National Park has set up four high-definition cameras at key viewing locations near the Brooks Falls where bears congregate during the salmon run. The park, about 275 miles southwest of Anchorage, is far off the beaten path for most visitors. Accessible only by bush plane and with a backlog of reservations at the lodge at Brooks Camp, only about 10,000 visitors a year get to experience this remote and beautiful piece of the last frontier. About 2,200 bears live in the park and around 100 of them congregate around the falls during the salmon run.
Viewers can watch as bears station themselves at strategic locations along the rushing waters of the falls to catch salmon. There’s a definite pecking order with the large males taking up the best fishing spots near the falls. If a more dominant male comes into the falls area, the less dominant bears move out and give up their favored fishing hole. A wider view camera gives a panoramic view of the river where dozens of bears can be seen down river. These are the sows with cubs, and young bears, that feed on the leftover scrapes the bears near the falls leave to float down river.
A third camera is setup at the lower falls where bears apparently gather to gorge themselves on the dead salmon that float down stream after spawning. A fourth camera provides an aerial view of the entire Brooks Falls area. The cameras are powered by both wind and solar.
The Brooks Falls bears live-streaming webcams is just one of dozens of webcams in the Pearl of the Planet initiative produced with support from the Annenberg Foundation. At explore.org viewers can watch panda bears in China, ospreys off the coast of Maine, wild dolphins near the Bahamas, polar bears in the Arctic. These are just a few of the extraordinary webcams and videos available that allow viewers to take in the wonders of our amazing planet.
According to Charles Annenberg, the creator of explore.org, “We simply want people to fall in love with the world again.” I hope hundreds of thousands of people find a few minutes to watch some of these stunning live webcams so they can appreciate what a wondrous planet we live on and how fragile our ecosystems are. What we do every day affects the planet in some way. It’s imperative that we protect the earth for ourselves, and future generations.
To view the bears visit; www.is.gd/bfPas8. To see the other webcams and videos about other amazing animals, beautiful places, and remarkable people, visit www.explore.org