Raise your hand if you think sea otters are cute. Is that everyone? Yep. Raise your hand if you think it would be awesome to have access to a livestream of wild sea otters doing their thing all day long. Is that everyone? I thought so!
A new Kickstarter campaign launched over the weekend to bring this very livestream to you. Wharton Media -- in conjunction with Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Georgia Aquarium and more -- will install an HD camera at Moss Landing, one of the most popular places to view sea otters in the wild. If the funding is raised for the project, you get to watch wild sea otters whenever you want, 24/7!
That means seeing this any time you want, live:
Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay.The slough and wetlands provide critical habitat for hundreds of species, including sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, great egrets and brown pelicans. At the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough sits the Moss Landing Harbor, in which lies a one of a kind spot where otters love to hang out together to play, groom, eat, and nap (Watch the video!). All of this otterly adorable action takes place directly in front of our camera installation site -- a location that we’ve been granted exclusive access to.
Oh, and did we mention that the otters hang out here every day of the year? Seriously, we’re not kidding. 365 days a year of otter raft antics awesomeness! Pretty cool, huh?
Sea Otters were thought to be extinct for quite awhile -- they were hunted into oblivion for their pelts, which boast an unbelievable 150,000 hairs per square centimeter. Luckily, a few survived and through massive conservation efforts, their numbers have started to rebound. This is vitally important to the coastal ecosystems since sea otters feast on urchins. When urchin numbers are kept in check, giant kelp forests thrive, and when kelp forests thrive, so do thousands of other species of plant and animal that depend on the shelter and food sources provided by the forests. You can read more about how Monterey Bay came back to life after the return of the sea otter here.
These mammals are amazing -- and adorable. Supporting this project goes a long way in growing the appreciation of this special species, as well as a greater understanding of the kind of role keystone species play in an ecosystem.
But if you want to see cute fuzzy otter faces every day and help educate more people about these wonderful animals, the campaign needs your help:
The bottom line is that streaming live video to a lot of people is expensive. Throw in live special events, a remote camera operator and video production, and things really start to add up. That’s why we want to let you know that even if we reach our goal, please keep those pledges coming! The more support we receive, the more live action we can bring you each day, and ultimately, the more production value we can bring to Wild for Otters.