The third eye

21 years went by since the placing of the first camera of video-surveillance on the entrance of cave 1. A pioneer event that allowed discovering the intimacy of the seals inside their cavernous home, where they haul out and breed.

A very discreet method that does not invade their tranquility and security, but full of technical difficulties. No longer latter, followed the installation of another equipment at cave 3, the second important cave used by the monk seal colony at Cabo Blanco.

To place a camera of video-surveillance on the entrance of a cave on top of a cliff of about 15 meters of height is a challenge full of uncertainty where the most resistant technology under the most extremes conditions are mixed with the risks of the work at heights. Something that our technicians had to learn and that now they can do with high skills. Besides the fighting against an implacable enemy, the ocean, which in more than one occasion has destroyed the equipment.

However, there still was a third window to open on the monitoring of the colony. A huge cave, close to cave named 3, which seals are using in the last few years. A cavity that because of its geomorphic characteristics made almost impossible its control from its entrance. This made us face a very difficult and exciting challenge: to introduce a camera on its inside hanging on two wires with a return system, as if a clothes-line was, that allowed taking in and out the camera as wished. A feat that for us was only achievable at sketches and drawings that we were designing. We needed real specialists. We found them at DAAN enterprise, of special works. Thanks to David, Paco and Fernando who with great professionalism and spectacular acrobatics, made the dream come true. A work that lasted 3 weeks divided in two campaigns and some other fright because of an angry ocean opposing our intentions.

Now we have an almost absolute monitoring of the colony with the surveillance and control of the last big cave of “Costa de las Focas”, of the tree main caves where this population finds refuge. A cave baptized with the name of Jean Paul Taris, in honor of one of the people believing most in our project and with supportive dedication from MAVA foundation, who sadly passed away recently.

Congratulations to all for this enormous step on the protection of one of the largest colony of monk seals of the world.

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  Pictures: in-out and cleaning systems of the camera

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