VIVOTEK and VideoSurveillance.com Provided Solutions to Wildlife Conservation Initiatives
Anatole France, a French best-seller novelist from the early 19th century, once said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” PDX Wildlife is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect and restore species and habitat diversity for future generations through local and global wildlife conservation initiatives. A team of extremely talented and dedicated scientists at PDX Wildlife aims to advance the conservation of endangered species through innovative and creative research in captive breeding, habitat restoration and community education. In order to help improve breeding techniques in captive species and educate communities on ways to improve the environment for these animals, PDX Wildlife worked with Oregon Zoo and San Diego Zoo, two of the most popular attractions on the west coast of the United States.
In one of PDX Wildlife’s conservation initiatives, the scientists travelled to China to study breeding techniques of Giant Pandas at a Reserve. Female giant pandas only go into the breeding cycle once a year. Close monitoring of their movements and behaviours are mandatory, otherwise the researchers would risk the chance of missing out on the event. In turn, VIVOTEK and VideoSurveillance.com provided a customized surveillance system to help monitor the pandas at the reserve in an attempt to increase the success of capturing the yearly breeding.
The Day and Night feature may be standard for VIVOTEK cameras but such functionality was an absolute must for PDX Wildlife when they made their selections. As the pandas were kept in outdoor pens in their natural environment, the chosen solution would have to not only remain fully functional without daylight but also withstand changing temperatures, rain and dust while providing high-quality videos. The VIVOTEK IP8332 was the ideal solution.
Equipped with a 1-Megapixel sensor with viewing resolution of 1280x800 at 30 frames per second (fps), VIVOTEK IP8332 is capable of delivering high-quality videos of the panda behavior. However, for a non-profit organization with limited budget, it was imperative that the chosen surveillance system did not include a costly bandwidth solution. Plus, multiple pandas are being monitored by many cameras at once, and therefore, bandwidth conservation was a huge factor for PDX Wildlife to take into account. Like most other VIVOTEK cameras, the IP8332 supports H.264 compression. With H.264, MPEG-4, and MJPEG compatibility all included, multiple streams can be simultaneously transmitted in any of these formats at different resolutions, frame rates and image qualities for versatile platforms, depending on the usages of the researchers.
Because there would be no supervision available during off-work hours (between 4:00 pm and 8:00 am), cameras capable of capturing clear footages without daylight were strongly preferred. Also, panda behaviour might alter in the absence of humans. Most importantly, pandas only mate once a year. It was essential to have this around-the-clock video. VIVOTEK IP8332 features a removable IR-cut filter and IR illuminators effective up to 15 meters. The Day & Night function guarantees uncompromised image quality during any time of the day.
Additionally, PDX Wildlife was seeking a device with protection against harsh outdoor environments. As the IP8332 is encased in an IP66-rated housing and weather-proof casing, the bullet is capable of withstanding rain and dust. Other advanced features standard for VIVOTEK cameras, such as tamper detection, 802.3af compliant PoE SD/SDHC card slot and VIVOTEK's 32-channel recording software are just icings on the cake.
Meghan Martin, who works in the Conservation & Research Department, was pleased with the surveillance solution put together by VIVOTEK and VideoSurveillance.com. According to Martin, the cameras have already helped him gather important data to preserve the Giant Panda species. The video surveillance versus human monitoring is already making a difference as well. “After hours viewing also gives me flexibility with my research because the behavioral estrous of female pandas often comes on quite suddenly and if we were unable to hand record behaviors from the day before, we still have this data caught on video that we can then analyze.
The surveillance system was designed for easy upgrading, so additional cameras and features can be added in the future. Until then, the San Diego and Oregon Zoos are excited to use the VideoSurveillance.com surveillance system. “We are super happy with the camera performance and they worked exactly how we imagined,” says Martin.
VIVOTEK has had a positive record of working with various science research teams on observing and monitoring subjects of interests. In a similar solution which recently took place at Bombay Natural History Society in Mumbai, Livedarshan, another valued local partner of VIVOTEK, set up a network-based system to monitor leopards. The chosen solution was VIVOTEK IP8362.