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Katmai’s Bearcams Begin Streaming for 2018 Season


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Explore.org

Frame from Explore.org's live Bearcam.

KING SALMON, AK—Katmai National Park & Preserve’s popular Bearcams are back for another summer. Through a partnership with Explore.org, viewers are able to watch online as one of the world’s highest concentrations of brown bears gathers to feed on sockeye salmon in the Brooks River. 

The Bearcams, available at Explore.org/bears, have become an integral part of the Katmai experience for people around the world, many of whom may not be able to visit the remote park in person. At peak season, tens of thousands of viewers may be watching bear activity at a given moment. In contrast, roughly 13,000 visitors were able to experience the Brooks River area in-person throughout the entire 2017 season. Through the webcams, far greater numbers of people globally are making connections with the bears of Katmai. Forty nine individual bears were observed using the Brooks River area at peak season in 2017. The 24-hour stream provides viewers the opportunity to follow the lives and habits of some of these individual bears.

“This is going to be a great summer for people to watch the cameras,” said Anela Ramos, District Interpreter with the National Park Service. “Especially with so many young bears running around this season, the cams provide a remarkable opportunity to increase our understanding of the behavior of brown bears. It is a really valuable educational tool.” 

Katmai expects in particular to have many subadult bears on camera this summer. Up to twenty of these subadult bears are expected in the Brooks River area. A subadult is a bear that has been emancipated by its mother but is not yet of breeding age, generally between 2.5 and 5 years old. They tend to move about erratically and may be of great interest to many viewers. 

Throughout the summer and early fall, park rangers will be periodically available to answer viewer questions about bears through live video chats and in the cam’s comment section. The recently released Bears of Brooks River 2018 eBook, which describes the life histories individual bears that viewers may see on camera, is available to download for free. Funding for the setup, maintenance, and operation of the webcams has been provided by Explore.org since 2012.

Katmai is celebrating its centennial year in 2018. First declared a national monument by Woodrow Wilson in 1918, the park is marking the occasion with a series of special events and livestreams throughout the summer. Watch the webcams now at Explore.org/bears.

 

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