Yellowstone cams aim for low-impact access

Nature doesn't unfold in 60 minutes like a TV program.

But even so, 'there's something going on all the time' to fascinate wildlife biologists at the 2.2-million-acre Yellowstone National Park, said John Varley, director of the park's Center for Resources.

Lately, biologists have had an easier time observing bison, elk, wolves, grizzly bears and other park fauna. The scientists can pan, tilt and zoom images up to 100X with two Canon NU-700N network-controllable webcam systems.

The cameras from Canon USA Inc. of Lake Success, N.Y., operate on wind and solar energy. In rugged housings with rain wipers, they let park biologists make animal counts and observe migration paths and real-life conflicts.

The webcams broadcast to a mountaintop antenna, which relays the images to park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo.

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