The following is courtesy of Katmai National Park and Preserve:
KING SALMON, Alaska –– Join Katmai National Park and Preserve on July 25, 2022, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the park’s bear webcams. Millions of people have been inspired to protect brown bears at the Brooks River and enjoyed watching from home as the bears nom-nom-nom’ed their way to world-wide acclaim. Along with continuing support from explore.org and the Katmai Conservancy, brown bears have never been more popular and will be visiting your living rooms, offices, classrooms and libraries for decades to come. Join us at any time at the Brooks Falls webpage.
The park will host a variety of opportunities for visitors to learn more about bears. Brown bears rely heavily on Katmai’s ecosystem, particularly salmon, to survive. Annually the park highlights the health of the bears through events such as “Fat Bear Week” which draws connections between our healthy bears and the health of the ecosystem. Throughout the summer, the park invites virtual visitors to celebrate through live chats, and play-by-plays of action at Brooks Falls with special online events during the week of July 25. Stay up to date on upcoming programs on the park’s calendar of events and on the explore.org Brooks Live Chat channel.
The cams have introduced people around the world to the concepts of survival, competition, hunger, reproduction, conflict, skill, adaptation, learning, consequences, and the importance of protecting a healthy ecosystem for wildlife and for humans (conservation, preservation, sustainability) to people around the world. In other areas around the world and even other areas of the park, bears may not have access to the same resources and may be struggling to gain necessary fat to survive. Climate change is impacting ecosystems around the globe and here in Alaska.
Looking at Katmai’s ever-increasing numbers of in-person visitors over the past ten years, our park rangers have had the chance to interact with as thousands of people. However, because of the reach of the bearcams, our rangers have increased that communication to millions more people over that same timespan. In 2021 staff gave bear orientations to 15,393 people at Brooks Camp while 10.9 million viewers tuned into the bearcams online; that is a huge impact! This partnership between Katmai National Park, explore.org and the Katmai Conservancy has been amazing for nearly a decade, and all parties hope that will continue for several more decades to come. Please join us in our events all season long, and particularly for our special events on the week of July 25.