Night visiom
Night visiom

5 ways digital technology is helping monitor wildlife

03 Mar. 2024 2 min read

This World Wildlife Day find out how digital technology is helping us better understand and monitor native wildlife.

Today is World Wildlife Day! A day all about celebrating and raising awareness of the world’s wild flora and fauna.

The year’s theme is Connecting People and Planet and is shining a light on the ways digital innovation is helping in the conservation effort.

Technology plays a big part in the important work we do at DEW to protect and conserve our natural environment.

Here are just a few ways our teams and our partners are using innovative digital technologies on the ground, in the air and on the water.

AudioMoths are devices that can capture frog, bird and other calls. In 2023, AudioMoths were installed at ecological sites along the River Murray, influenced by weir pool manipulation. The data we’re collecting helps us learn about the impact weir pool manipulations have on frog populations.

5 ways digital technology is helping monitor wildlife

Night Vision
Ecologists on the Pike Floodplain used night vision cameras to capture rakalis, AKA native water rats, making the most of the excellent floodplain conditions. The ecologists have been spotting more young rakalis in shallow areas along vegetated areas of the creek, including this little guy who was almost smiling at the camera!

5 ways digital technology is helping monitor wildlife

Researchers have been using Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT) tags, to uncover the fascinating behaviours of the pouched lamprey, an ancient eel-like fish that migrates from the ocean along the River Murray to breed. In August, 2023, the transponders followed the epic adventures of one particular fish, which travelled an incredible 825km from Goolwa to Wentworth, NSW, in just two months!

Where in the MDB is Larry the lamprey?

Around 2018, drones allowed researchers to do what they’d never been able to do before – clearly see the many sea lion colonies at the base of huge, inaccessible cliffs along the Nullabor Coast. Using special software, researchers were able to count, classify and map the 20-30 sea lion colonies that live there.

Drones used to better count endangered sea lions at the Bunda Cliffs

Radio tracking collars
Technology has played a critical role in helping rebuild populations of western quolls in SA. In 2023, 15 quolls were introduced into Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, some with radio tracking collars attached. The collars allow ecologists collect data, monitor changes to the ecosystem and plan for how best to sustain the species in the long term.

5 ways digital technology is helping monitor wildlife

Infrared cameras
In 2020, after the devastating summer bushfires, researchers used drones, infrared cameras and artificial intelligence to carry out a count of the surviving koala population on unburned areas of Kangaroo Island. The technology was used to scan trees at night, identifying koalas by their body heat signature.

5 ways digital technology is helping monitor wildlife


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