Bears movements caught on camera thanks to virtual nets

The plight of Hudson Bay's polar bears is being tracked by a network of remote cameras controlled by virtual network technology

The system is helping Polar Bear International researchers to record the dwindling polar bear population as they head Arctic-wards for the winter.

The digital system, set up by SeeMore Wildlife Systems and using RealVNC's Virtual Network Computing solution, comprises an IP-based network system of digital microwave links to transmit images across the tundra from Cape Churchill cameras to the remote town of Churchill. This in turn is connected to an Alaskan control centre via the Internet.

The work also involves a hi-tech Tundra Buggy that fed live Polar Bear Cam streaming video through a 45Mb wireless link to the town of Churchill and then to the National Geographic website via the Internet.

"As the cameras were unmanned and powered by methanol fuel cells, it would have been virtually impossible to keep the system running without using VNC," says Daniel Zatz of SeeMore Wildlife Systems. "RealVNC solution works with many platforms across any network, so my team could manage the network and download images from PC, Apple Mac or handheld device."

The project in Hudson Bay was part of a larger effort led by Polar Bears International to increase awareness about polar bears. "It is important to raise awareness of climate change and inspire people to care more about this increasingly endangered species," Zatz adds. "VNC technology has certainly played an important role in helping to draw attention to these beautiful animals."

www.polarbearsinternational.org, www.realvnc.com

Image: Bearing all for the Net - remote virtual technology is helping Polar Bear International researchers record the creatures as they head Arctic-wards for the winter [Photo: R & C Buchanan]

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