Remote cameras getting unprecedented look at Washington wildlife

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on February 18, 2011 at 7:56 PM

A new breed of wildlife investigator is silently studying some of Washington state's most elusive animals. They never complain about the hours, the weather or the remote locales, and they never run away from danger.

They are a network of remote cameras and they are tapping into the mysteries of nature.

"Having an actual image of what an animal has been up to, or whether it's even present, is totally just invaluable information," said Chuck Gibilisco, Watchable Wildlife Specialist for The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Wildlife protection groups like Conservation Northwest also use the cameras to capture images of animals they want the public to help protect.

Hunters use them for other, obvious reasons, but biologists went crazy over pictures of a pride of cougars captured by a hunter's motion activated camera in central Washington.

And when combined, all these cameras are giving unprecedented views of the animal kingdom.

The cameras will never replace actual wildlife biologists and photographers. They can't take notes, follow animals or frame them for maximum artistic photos. But they do provide raw images of animals we've never seen in places we can't go.

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