If you are stuck at your work desk and can only daydream about seeing nature, a new partnership between Parks Canada and explore.org is giving you a live web camera view of bison habitat at Grasslands National Park.
Parks Canada has announced a partnering initiative with explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and media division of the Annenberg Foundation, to bring a slice of Canada’s natural beauty to web audiences around the world. The two organizations launched a multi-camera live video production featuring the mighty bison of Grasslands National Park. This marks the first live camera feed in the park and the first focused on the animal that once ruled the plains of the North American continent.
“This project provides a unique opportunity for people to be able to view plains bison in their natural habitat, from the comfort of their own homes,” said Katherine Patterson, Superintendent for Parks Canada’s Saskatchewan South Field Unit. “I am excited that visitors will be able to enjoy these animals that once roamed throughout North America’s Great Plains, and develop meaningful connections to this national treasure.”
The new bison cam will complement a collection of more than 50 HD cam instalments around the world set up by explore.org, which aims to bring people closer to nature by beaming live HD streams of amazing places to the computers and mobile devices of people around the world. The cams can be seen at explore.org/bison, along with weekly highlights.
“We are thrilled to kick off our relationship with Parks Canada with the bison cams,” said explore.org founder Charles Annenberg. “The mighty bison are a spiritually significant animal for native cultures and a very important species for the history of Canada and the US. They are the high priests in the cathedral of the grass plains that comprise so much of the continent.”
The project consists of the installation of two web cameras located near a known bison watering hole and black-tailed prairie dog colony in the park. The cams, which use solar panels for power, are operated remotely by a group of volunteers and through a program for at risk youth in Los Angeles. Using the cams as a stage, viewers will be given opportunities to ask questions of Parks Canada staff and share moments captured on the live cams
Bison were reintroduced to Grasslands National Park in 2006 and are currently thriving in the native prairie environment. The only place to see black-tailed prairie dogs in Canada is at Grasslands National Park and the surrounding area. These colonial animals play an important ecological role in shaping the mixed grass prairie through their burrowing and grazing activities, which provides habitat for burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets (North America’s most endangered mammal), swift foxes and a diversity of other species.