Press Archive

HPWREN Collaborates with the California Wolf Center and Allows for Near-Real-Time Web Camera and Unique Behavior Observation Opportunities

Published 01/11/2004


Denali, a North American gray wolf, born in 1995 and the Alpha male
of the denali pack at the California Wolf Center.

The recently installed California Wolf Center HPWREN connection, as well as the new web-based digital camera, will allow the Center to more broadly share valuable scientific and educational resources. This near real-time feed showing gray wolf interactions posted on publicly available web pages will help satisfy a critical component of the Wolf Center's mission.


A digital network camera is being installed on a pole of a wolf enclosure by Todd Hansen, with help from Kimberly Miller of the Wolf Center.
The California Wolf Center is located in San Diego County near the Cuyamaca Mountain area. Its mission is to increase awareness and conservation efforts in protecting and understanding the importance of all wildlife and wild lands by focusing on the history, biology and ecology of the North American Gray Wolf through education, exhibition, reproduction of endangered species and studies of captive wolf behavior.

The system will also allow a live feed from the wolf enclosures in educational programs given on and off site. This will be particularly useful for classroom presentations for K-12 students and for college/university level programs. The Center gives many presentations to civic groups as well, and when the location has connectivity, they will be able to use the feed to enhance those programs. Generating a photographic record of educational activities such as those involved in the Center's annual Wildlife Handling and Immobilization course would additionally be very useful.

The ability to monitor the wolves via the system will provide the opportunity for numerous behavioral studies. The most immediate one will be to document the social processes by which the breeding pair emerges during the planned breeding of the mail pack this season. It will also allow observation of the development of pups produced by this breeding. Since network camera(s) can be moved from one enclosure to another, several interesting studies of other wolves at Wolf Center facility will be possible.

Following preliminary work in late 2003, the installation was finished on January 7, 2004. While initially only connectivity for a camera has been implemented, over time the Wolf Center expects to extend the network access to a larger set of its facilities.

Connectivity is accomplished with a 2.4 GHz spread-spectrum radio connecting to the HPWREN backbone, with access facilitated by the San Diego Sheriff Department's Wireless Services Division. The installation is entirely solar powered which also accommodates the network camera. More installation pictures.

Near-real-time California Wolf Center camera images are now available at the HPWREN cameras web site.