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Friday, October 21, 2011

Wildlife Nightlife Captured on Video

At Stanford University, video cameras are capturing hidden life.  An example of wildlife captured on cameras was mountain lions.  Mountain lions are also known as pumas, cougars and panthers.  The preserve is 1,189 acres and a mile or so or west of the I-80 freeway. Animals are getting spotted at night and during the day.  A staff specialist, Trevor Hebert, at the preserve said, "It's an informal project".  He is trying to learn the mountain lions movements' during the night.  This is an informal project because the data           that was collected was collected was unplanned.

Hebert installed the first camera about two years ago and is planning to install more.  With these cameras he has collected more than 60 video images.  Last year, Hebert believed that he caught two different mountain lions crossing the preserve but found out later it was only a single animal.  Hebert is also trying to see how other creatures behave around them. Another thing the specialists are trying to see how the mountain lions react with busy human life around them.

The cameras do not impact on the environment, there is an infrared beam that catches the animals, there is no light that breaks the darkness.  Some other animals caught at night were: deer, bobcats, possums, jackrabbits, skunks and owls.  No hikers or public visitors are banned on the preserve, except on infrequent guided tours.

There are also other studies going on the preserve for quakes,insects and trees. With the earthquakes, a network of buried electroeds is in place to determine whether underground radio frequency signals if a quake occurred.  With the incects, there has been 40 years of research on the checker- spot butterflies.

By Claire P.

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