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The Okonjima Reserve Goes Live!

THANKS TO 3 GENEROUS AFRICAT DONORS WHO SUPPORT CARNIVORE RESEARCH. 
By Janek Hoth

2011 saw the historical installation of 8 Vivotek Cameras across the new 200km² Okonjima Nature Reserve, of which 2 of them are portable, which means that they can be set up at a main game-trail, a fresh kill or active den, etc. The other 5 cameras are placed at waterholes or natural dams.

The cameras are all connected to the main server at Main Camp; from there, the image or video-feed is sent to our 3 main lodges, Main Camp, Bush Camp & The Villa. Each one has a 32" Flat screen mounted in the lounge area of the camp's Lapa, for our guests to view. (PAWS will invest in their screen and live video-feed when they re-open in 2012!)

Our guests have free access to the various videos, with a few clicks of a mouse - they can enlarge or select different cameras to view.

The cameras are all fitted with infrared flood-lights; this enables us to see all the nocturnal activity! This entertainment will become even more interesting once a portable camera is set up at a bait or a kill.
The cameras all have an input and output function, which means we can record sound via a microphone; this will be set up at the kill or bait sights. We can also trigger a latch, e.g. Close the door of a cage-trap, enabling us to select exactly which animal we wish to capture; with the push of a button, the door will close. This will allow us to immediately immobilize the animal, which reduces the stress levels significantly – thus, it will not have to spend the whole night in a cage- trap!!

Every second of video footage is recorded, enabling us to rewind and check what went on during the night.

This technology will help us with game counts as well as effectively simplify gathering reliable research data, such as identifying known and unknown individuals (carnivores or other), monitor interaction between individuals (eg. between territorial males, adults and mature off-spring, between various species at kills, etc) - in essence, lots to learn and experience...

OKONJIMA, keeping one step ahead!

Article posted: 2012-01-17 17:57:01

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