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‘Only AI made it possible’: scientists hail breakthrough in tracking British wildlife. 🌿
🔍 'Only AI made it possible': scientists hail breakthrough in tracking British wildlife
🌿 Researchers have developed arrays of AI-controlled cameras and microphones to identify animals and birds and to monitor their movements in the wild – technology, they say, that should help tackle Britain’s growing biodiversity problem.
📷 The robot monitors have been tested at three sites and have captured sounds and images from which computers were able to identify specific species and map their locations.
🦅 Dozens of different birds were recognized from their songs while foxes, deer, hedgehogs, and bats were pinpointed and identified by AI analysis. No human observers are involved.
🌎 "The crucial point is the scale of the operation. We have captured tens of thousands of data files and thousands of hours of audio from these test sites and identified all sorts of animals from them. We couldn’t have done it at that scale using human observers. Only AI made it possible," said Anthony Dancer, a conservation specialist at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
🛤️ Land alongside rail lines – at Barnes, Twickenham, and Lewisham in London – was chosen for the project’s test sites. Owned by Network Rail, which has played a key role in setting up the project, the areas are fenced off to prevent people straying onto lines and are visited fairly infrequently by track maintenance staff.
🌱 "And now that we have demonstrated the technology’s promise, we can expand to other areas," stated Dancer.
🦇 Network Rail owns more than 52,000 hectares of land, and many of these areas play a key role in protecting the nation’s biodiversity.
🌳 "Take birds like the Eurasian blackcap, blackbird, and great tit. All three species require healthy environments – including good supplies of berries and nuts – and all three were detected by AI from the acoustic signals collected by our sensors at our three test sites. That is encouraging and provides important benchmarks for measuring biodiversity in the future," said Neil Strong, biodiversity strategy manager for Network Rail.
🔬 Other creatures pinpointed by the AI monitors included six species of bat, including the common pipistrelle. "Bats almost certainly use railway bridges for roosting. So if we can get more detailed information about the exact locations of their roosts using AI monitors, we can help protect them," added Dancer.
🌍 This AI-led technology will be vital in surveying wildlife and understanding species movements in response to climate change, not just beside rail lines but also on road verges and other areas.
🌿 Exciting breakthroughs in using AI technology to track and monitor wildlife in the wild. This innovative approach allows for the identification of numerous species and their locations, providing valuable insights into biodiversity and conservation efforts. Harnessing the power of AI, we can make significant strides in understanding the impact of technology on our environment.
#AI #WildlifeConservation #Insights
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