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CANON IP VIDEO CAMERAS AID ENDANGERED MARINE LIFE

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Networked Canon VB-C60 IP Video Cameras Helps The Riverhead Foundation to Monitor Marine Wildlife Rehabilitation, Conduct Research, and Educate the Public

Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico have focused public attention on the importance of protecting the marine environment. More often, however, the work of marine conservationists and biologists goes unnoticed, as much of it – including helping injured marine animals – occurs behind closed doors. The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation (in Riverhead, N.Y.) is helping to change this situation by installing VB-C60 pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) IP video cameras made by Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging. The cameras, which were donated by Canon U.S.A. to the Riverhead Foundation to assist in the preservation of the environment, enable the public to use the Internet to view injured and stranded marine animals during their rehabilitation. Visitors to the Riverhead Foundation’s rescue facility, located at the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium, can also access the VB-C60 PTZ IP video cameras from interactive kiosks to learn about the organization and its work with the animals. Currently, the Foundation provides video of seals and sea turtles in its care, and it plans to expand the coverage provided by its VB-C60 PTZ IP video cameras to other animals.

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“The Canon IP video cameras are helping people to understand the important work we do at the Foundation,? said Rob DiGiovanni, its director/senior biologist. “The public typically calls upon us when an animal is in need of care. We come out, assess the animal, and if it needs help we bring it back to our rehabilitation facility. Until recently, however, most of our work went unseen by the public.?

“By using these Canon IP video cameras, we’ve been able to show the public what goes on behind the scenes, and we allow them to see the animals undergoing rehabilitation,? added DiGiovanni. “The cameras make the public a more active part of the whole process, so that when it comes to the time that we can release these animals back out into the wild, the public is able to take part in that as well.?

Fully web-enabled for easy networking across LAN or WAN environments, Canon’s VB-C60 PTZ IP video cameras are remotely controllable, enabling visitors to the Foundation’s web site to follow the animals’ movements around their containment area. A Genuine Canon 40X optical zoom lens and an intuitive web interface allows users to position the cameras, adjust brightness levels, and zoom in for an up-close look at creatures most people are unfamiliar with, even though they may live in relatively close proximity to their offshore marine habitats. The VB-C60 PTZ IP video cameras are housed in a protective dome to shield them from the humid and potentially wet environment of the containment and rehabilitation areas.

Canon Cameras Help Advance Marine Research
In addition to the general public, Foundation researchers and veterinarians also are using the Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras to monitor seals, sea turtles, and other marine animals.

“The cameras enable us to monitor the animals’ behavior before we go out to feed them,? explained Julika Wocial, rescue program supervisor. “We also are able to see how they are interacting with the public, volunteers, and staff, and we can observe if there are any changes in behavior. If there is an issue we might want to look at, we can record these behaviors for a more detailed examination.?

“The 40x optical zoom on the VB-C60 IP video cameras is another very useful feature for observing the animals,? added Wocial. “It allows us see important physical details without the need to actually go down to the tank.?

This feature is particularly important for dolphin rehabilitation, Wocial noted. “Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras will not only allow the public to see them, but will also help us in identifying any idiosyncratic behaviors the animal might have. We can view dolphin video on a real-time basis and watch it a lot more closely without having to go to the tank. One of the key challenges when rehabilitating a dolphin is human interaction; we don’t want the animal to ‘imprint’ on us. So we see the cameras as being an extremely valuable tool going forward to prevent that from happening.?

The capabilities of Canon’s VB-C60 IP video cameras also make them relevant for many other applications and markets. These include remote monitoring of animals in zoos, stables, farms, pet-boarding services, and other types of scientific research facilities. Canon’s IP video cameras are also widely used in the security industry.

Marine Wildlife Monitoring Network
Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras are also key to the Foundation’s future plans for broadening its information-gathering efforts on marine animal behavior in the wild. A network of Canon IP video cameras installed near beaches and other shoreline areas is being considered, noted DiGiovanni.

“We are trying to develop a system where we can deploy these cameras out in the field to look at animals in the wild and gather information on their population and distribution as well as their health status,? he said. “Ideally, we would love to put some Canon VB-C60’s in some of the more well-defined areas where seals congregate. With that type of a set-up, we can observe wild behaviors. The amazingly clear resolution of the Canon VB-C60’s powerful 40x optical zoom lens would enable us to identify previously tagged and released animals to keep tabs on their progress in the wild.?

DiGiovanni revealed that powering an IP video monitoring system in the wild can prove to be a challenge, as remote locations usually lack an electrical connection. Fortunately, the Canon VB-C60 cameras offer a variety of power options, ranging from the single-cable Power over Ethernet (PoE) option to a 24VAC, or a 12V DC input for external power, such as that provided by solar panels.

“We are working closely with the local parks to gain access so we can put these cameras out there,? he stated. “They are all coming on board because they agree that this is a terrific concept with a lot of potential.?

Distance Learning
Educating the public about marine animals – and how they may be negatively impacted by human activity ranging from pollution to recreational boating – is another area in which the Foundation is relying on the superior imaging and operational advantages of Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras.

“We recently put the animals up on our website,? Wocial informed. “Since then, we have incorporated use of the cameras at a few fairs and in some educational programs at local schools. Whenever we book an education program at a school or facility we will try to get Internet access so we can incorporate real-life images into our programs. Before the installation of the Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras we showed previously recorded video. Live, real-time image access is, however, something I feel can be very beneficial for young people because they can see first-hand what is happening in the facility.?

“Before we installed the Canon VB-C60 IP video cameras, we were using video conferencing systems to reach out to children that don’t live close enough to visit the aquarium and see the animals for themselves,? DiGiovanni elaborated. “Now anybody in the country can see them. Hopefully this will enable us to spread our educational programs and do more remote-access education that can help raise awareness of the importance of protecting our marine environments.?

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2009†, with global revenues of US $35 billion, is listed as number six in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2010 list, and is on the 2009 BusinessWeek list of “100 Best Global Brands.” Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at www.usa.canon.com/kyosei. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.

About the Riverhead Foundation
The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization that operates the New York State Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The primary mission of the Riverhead Foundation is to preserve and protect our marine environment through education, rehabilitation, and research. Located within the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium, a primary supporter of the Foundation’s mission, The Riverhead Foundation is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of seals, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, and porpoises and is the only organization authorized by New York State to carry on this important work. The Riverhead Foundation operates a 24-hour Rescue Hotline for the public to call when they discover an animal in need of care. For more information go to: www.riverheadfoundation.org.

About Atlantis Marine World Aquarium
Atlantis Marine World (AMW), now celebrating its tenth birthday, opened in Riverhead, N.Y. on June 15, 2000 as the first large-scale aquarium to open in New York State in more than 35 years. Situated on 3.2 acres along the Peconic River, AMW is also the home of The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, New York’s only authorized marine mammal and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center. AMW was recently ranked by Parents Magazine as one of the “Top Aquariums for Kids.? Additional information can be found at http://atlantismarineworld.com/.

†Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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