The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center requested a literature review product that would serve as a resource to natural resource professionals interested in using webcams to connect people with nature. The literature review focused on the effects on the public of viewing wildlife through webcams and on information regarding installation and use of webcams. We searched the peer reviewed, published literature for three topics: wildlife cameras, virtual tourism, and technological nature. Very few publications directly addressed the effect of viewing wildlife webcams. The review of information on installation and use of cameras yielded information about many aspects of the use of remote photography, but not much specifically regarding webcams. Aspects of wildlife camera use covered in the literature review include: camera options, image retrieval, system maintenance and monitoring, time to assemble, power source, light source, camera mount, frequency of image recording, consequences for animals, and equipment security. Webcam technology is relatively new and more publication regarding the use of the technology is needed. Future research should specifically study the effect that viewing wildlife through webcams has on the viewers' conservation attitudes, behaviors, and sense of connectedness to nature.
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USGS Numbered Series
Use of wildlife webcams - Literature review and annotated bibliography