We hope you are as excited as we are to hear about the latest installment of our TeviSENSE network for Cornwall and the Isle of Scilly: TeviLIFE-C! TeviNET is underway and our TeviFIRE-E system has been taken up by several businesses across the county.

What does TeviLIFE-C offer?

TeviLIFE-C is our nature camera network. These cameras will live-stream video to our environmental monitoring hub: Lagas.co.uk for all to see. By bringing sights of nature online we can amplify the charm of the natural world right here in Cornwall and across the Isles of Scilly. The camera streams will be a mixture of landscape views and wildlife cameras that aim to foster a stronger connection to our immediate environment.

Our main offering is of bullet-style CCTV cameras along with some more specialist cameras that we use depending on the application, for example; underwater, pan-tilt and nest box cameras. We also offer enterprises hosting a camera a monitor so they can display the video stream on-site.

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Gull Cam

Many a sign in seaside towns directs locals and tourists to watch the skies and protect their food (pasties, take away fish and chips and the like) from marauding Seagulls. Following the installation of our first landscape camera at Fishy Filaments we now look forward to being able to view the life of these birds, from egg to fledgling, through our first Tevi wildlife camera.

 

Our sincere thanks go to Pete Fraser of Fraser’s Fish and Chips in Penzance (and Harbour Lights in Falmouth) for allowing us to use his allocation of Tevi business assist hours to complete our first wildlife camera installation—the irony of fish, chips and seagulls is not lost on us!

 

The European Herring Gull–more commonly known as the Seagull–has a reputation for being a loud, aggressive and powerful bird. There is no doubt that they regularly come into conflict with humans yet they continue to be a cherished, but declining symbol of the seaside.

The warm, convenient and undisturbed rooftop location for our live feed camera is an adopted nesting ground. The pan-tilt-zoom camera is able to move the view across the roof to observe the half-dozen nests that are expected in breeding season. Like most gulls, the European Herring Gull has a long life span– up to their late twenties!—and would traditionally, flock back to colonies by the sea for the annual breeding season. However, as urban areas across the UK have grown, these majestic birds have adapted to some inland perches.

Seagulls are known to pair for life, each Herring Gull pair typically raises up to three chicks in a good year. Mating season traditionally starts in February, resulting in a breeding season from May to the end of July. The fluffy, speckled chicks that match the speckled eggs they hatch from will tap on the red spot on their parent’s beak to indicate they want feeding. Our TeviLIFE-C device is now poised to capture all of this activity!

Herring Gulls are omnivores which means they eat pretty much anything; worms, carrion, offal, young birds, eggs, small mammals, insects, fish and chips. They are natural scavengers and take advantage of the huge amount of organic material that is thrown away by humans. Street lighting in urban areas allows them to forage throughout the night too. By eating the discarded food and accessible rubbish bags on littered streets it can be said that Herring Gulls actually keep other pest populations, such as rats, in check.

Photo by Tarpit Grover on Unsplash

Despite their successful adaption and increased numbers in urban areas however, the European Herring Gull population is declining significantly across the country. The UK population is known to have decreased by 50% in 25 years. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) placed the species on its ‘Red List’ of threatened bird species in 2009, affording it the highest possible conservation status.

The cause of the decline in this species is not yet known, but could be the result of changes in their maritime environment, including pollution or changes in commercial fishing practice. We believe the best approach to understanding native gull populations is with co-ordinated monitoring and thorough research.

Research

King Charles Primary School in Falmouth worked closely with academics from the University of Exeter to find a humane deterrent to the local seagulls swooping on students at lunch time. After comprehensive research…bunting was the solution! The colourful bunting was meticulously threaded above the playground at less than one-metre intervals. Crucially, the spacing between the flags prevented the formidable birds from quickly swooping down and absconding with someone else’s lunch.

 

Thanks again to Fraser’s Fish and Chip shop for kindly supporting the deployment of this TeviLIFE-C installation. We continue to expand our network of wildlife cameras and smart environmental monitoring devices that will help us to improve the quality of Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly’s environment by measuring the positive impacts that businesses have.

If your business would like to host any of our devices, or to find out more, please get in touch with us: [email protected]