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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
Oakland Zoo and Ventana Wildlife Society Install First California Condor Webcam in the Wild
Big Sur, CA – On October 17, 2013, Oakland Zoo and Ventana Wildlife Society will turn on the first ever LIVE streaming webcam to monitor California condors in the wild. For more than a year, teams at Ventana Wildlife Society, Oakland Zoo, CamZone, and FedEx have strategized how to secure funding for the camera and install it into a remote area of Big Sur, California, only accessible via a treacherous service road. The months of hard work paid off in the end. As of today, field biologists and the public are now able to see the largest North American land bird up-close from the convenience of their desktops.
"We at Oakland Zoo are thrilled about this project," said Nancy Filippi, Managing Director at Oakland Zoo. "There was a time when we honestly didn't know if installing this camera would be possible. It took nearly a year of trouble shooting with phone companies and local wireless support, traveling to Big Sur to survey areas, and working diligently with CamZone to make this happen. We are invested in educating the public about California condors, and this camera is an outward display of our conservation mission."
This webcam will become a vital tool to Ventana Wildlife Society as it will allow wildlife biologists to zoom in on birds, check tags, look for signs of medical issues, and easily monitor what is happening. Prior to having the webcam, biologists had to drive an hour and a half to the Big Sur location to check in on the birds. Now, they are able to cut three hours out of that process and can simply move the camera with remote access from their office computers.
"This new webcam allows viewers to see condor conservation through the eyes of the dedicated biologists who are trying to save this bird in the wild", said Kelly Sorenson Ventana Wildlife Society's executive director." Funding generously donated by FedEx and a camera powered by Camzone, the public can now regularly observe California condors in the wild – an opportunity that was never possible until now. The webcam is accessible for viewing on the Society's website www.ventanaws.org
"Being part of a partnership that helps biologists study and protect California's largest land bird from extinction is an important project to FedEx," said Cher Woodward, Senior Manager, AGSF Western Region. "We also see this webcam as a way for Oakland Zoo to educate their guests about the plight of the condor. We commend Ventana Wildlife Society and Oakland Zoo for their conservation commitment to save these brilliant birds."
CamZone was built on the popularity of animal cams, so partnering to help save the California Condors was a great opportunity for our team to give back. "Getting a camera on the Condor release pin, in the wild was by far the most complicated job we have ever attempted. We are ecstatic with the finished product and honored to be part of such an amazing project." We are dedicated to continuing the support with our commercial free hosting and future projects to help bring awareness to the Condors' plight.
The idea that put this LIVE streaming webcam project in motion stems from Oakland Zoo's participation with the California Condor Recovery Program. In 2012, Oakland Zoo made a commitment to help rehabilitate sick or injured condors by building a facility specifically designed to treat the massive sized birds. Veterinary and zookeeper staff trained for several months in tandem with the veterinary staff of Los Angeles Zoo, which is currently the only Zoo in California able to treat lead poisoned condors. Oakland Zoo is involved in a lengthy permit process and will be rehabilitating California condors onsite in the near future.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA CONDOR:
To learn more about this partnership and watch a video created by Oakland Zoo, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bhm3k_OINA&feature=share&list=UUCDsJ9prIx28MVLRUaL2b1w
ABOUT VENTANA WILDLIFE SOCIETY:
ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:
Ventana Wildlife Society
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