Ascendant enables 24-hour views of Nonsuch cahows
Cahows at Nonsuch Island Nature Reserve are to be accessible to all, thanks to a financial boost from the Ascendant Group.
The donation is part of a commitment Ascendant made in 2010, to distribute $500,000 to the reserve over ten years.
The Cahow Cam Project will give viewers close-up views inside cahow nests 24-hours-a-day online at http://blog.lookbermuda.com/CahowCam.
It’s part of a joint venture between the Department of Conservation Services, LookBermuda and North Rock Communications, Ascendant CEO Walter Higgins announced today.
He said: “We are delighted to support this innovative project, which gives people the opportunity to see Bermuda’s national bird in a wonderful new way.
“For the first time, we are able to look through a window, provided by LookBermuda’s miniature cameras, to see nesting cahows in their burrows in real time.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for scientists, as well as for students, birding enthusiasts and all who care about Bermuda’s unique natural heritage. In fact, we hope that the Cahow Cams will capture the imaginations of people outside of Bermuda, who may become interested in visiting the Island,” he said.
The project has also resulted in the purchase of a new Boston Whaler for use by Conservation Services, new signage, utilities and development of a mini-museum display.
Environment Minister Sylvan Richards said the project will ensure that “current and future generations get to experience Bermuda’s truly unique natural wonders in an ever-developing world”.
He noted that the cahow is one of the rarest seabirds on Earth, and was thought to be extinct for 300 years.
“Today we have 104 breeding pairs that nest in burrows on Nonsuch Island and several surrounding islands in the Castle Island chain,” said Mr Richards. “The Cahow Cam provides a long-awaited opportunity to study these precious seabirds that spend most of their lives far out on the open ocean, returning to land only to breed in spring and fall.
“Already, ecologists are documenting never before seen aspects of behaviour from the hatching of chick, through the first weeks of life of a new cahow.”
LookBermuda director Jean-Pierre Rouja developed the project in consultation with Jeremy Madeiros of Conservation Services as a follow-up to the film on the Cahow Translocation Project released in March 2011.
The specially modified cameras will be powered by solar energy. Solar panels are to be installed on the island later this year to provide round-the-clock live coverage.
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