The foundation of this research is a collaboration between ecology and computer science.
This project is a part of a new era in environmental monitoring. Technology is increasingly informing conservation management via automated data collection, algorithms to streamline classification and decision-supporting tools that can balance the needs of different stakeholders.
It’s non-invasive, efficient and cost-effective therefore minimising disturbance to habitat and species. We are using acoustic monitoring technology and remote motion-sensor cameras are being used to extend time and location data collection in order to detect wetland bird species and monitor their diversity. The timing and frequency of the noises the birds make vary seasonally and can also be used to detect breeding events.
To protect our valuable wetlands, we need to better understand them. Luckily, wetland birds are sensitive indicators of the area’s health, though there’s a small catch – they’re also notoriously secretive in their behaviour! We are monitoring a selection of wetlands in south-eastern Australia and Tasmania.