Bird monitor identifying hotspots for morepork and feral chickens

Rangers from Norfolk Island have shared how the Cacophony Project Bird monitors are helping create hotspot maps where their precious and not so precious birds can be found.

One map shows the activity levels of Moreporks, and it’s highlighted some unexpected hotspots in their national park. They use this kind of information to inform their management actions in a really tangible way (like where to put up nest boxes or where to do control works or revegetation works).

Allie Nance, the NRM Ranger at the Norfolk Island National Park said "We are all so excited about the possibilities and just wanted to share with you and your team to show how 2040 is making a real-world difference to our conservation efforts here on Norfolk Island 😊"

Below is a map showing the hotspots of feral chickens. Feral chickens threaten many of the Norfolk endemic invertebrates, including critically endangered snail Advena campbelli (recently rediscovered after being declared extinct for many years!). Feral chooks also threaten native plant species by scratching up seedlings. Knowing where the hotspots are helps to direct their control efforts, and will give a great indication of the impact of our control efforts over time. 

Feral Chicken hotspots in Norfolk Island

This data has been generated by a combination of automatic and manual tagging the birds in the audio recording. The moreporks were identified and reviewed (on the most part confirming). This should become more efficient as the recognition algorithms use this data to automatically identify more birds and keeps improving.

Note: We are currently not selling the bird monitors because of the difficultly sourcing low cost Android phones. Our new thermal camera has a microphone and we are planning on adding the ability for it to monitor birds over the next few weeks. We are also planning on releasing a new version of the bird monitor.

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