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Protecting migratory birds and their precious wetland habitat with AIoT technology

  • Friday, March 31, 2023, 10:54 pm

A dedicated team of conservation specialists works unceasingly to protect migratory birds at Beibayao Wetland of the Dongtan Reserve in Shanghai, China. To help them monitor the site and bird populations more effectively, Hikvision provided advanced video perception equipment.

HANGZHOU, China, March 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dongtan Reserve in Shanghai, located at the mouth of the Yangtze River, provides food, shelter, and breeding grounds for nearly one million migratory birds each year.

Protecting migratory birds and their precious wetland habitat with AIoT technology
Protecting migratory birds and their precious wetland habitat with AIoT technology

To ensure that Beibayao Wetland continues to meet the needs of its feathered visitors, a team of rangers, engineers and other specialists continually monitor the site and the bird populations. In recent years, Hikvision also joined hands with the One Planet Foundation to protect the birds in Beibayao Wetland, which is a work area of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Now Hikvision's video perception devices have been installed here, assisting the team in bird watching and providing a scientific basis for ecological protection.

Among this dedicated team at the Reserve is Liu Jieyun, a WWF project specialist. According to Jieyun, managing the site and optimizing the habitat for the birds is a unique and complex task.

It is critical to check, for example, that the water level at the site, the available exposed land, the vegetation, and other environmental factors, are conducive to the wellbeing of the visiting migratory birds. What's more, Jieyun constantly monitors the behavior of the birds, counting the number of species present to understand and report on trends in their populations and diversity.

Jieyun says, "The ultimate goal is to manage this wetland as well as possible and to ensure that it continues to function as a place where birds can stop, rest, spend the winter, and breed. However, constantly monitoring the reserve, and getting a close-up view of their behaviors – including their reproductive cycle – can be very difficult."

Adding video perception to the conservation toolkit

To support this valuable work, Hikvision has contributed video perception equipment at the Dongtan Reserve. This helps Jieyun and other team members keep a constant eye on multiple areas of the site to ensure that the breeding grounds are in good condition and able to support the visiting populations.

PTZ (pan tilt zoom) cameras are being used to capture close-up images of birds and their behavior to support and enhance conservation efforts. At night or in low-light conditions, thermal dome cameras play a critical role in the continuous monitoring.

Jieyun and the conservation team have captured incredible images of birds at the reserve, underlining the value of the site for multiple species. For example, the team has seen Kentish plovers wet their abdomens with muddy water to cool down hatchlings in their nests, and recorded images of birds fishing to feed their young.

Hikvision's intelligent analysis equipment has been deployed at the reserve, and it will develop an intelligent bird identification system based on joint efforts with the partners. Advanced applications such as identification, classification, and analysis will be enabled by intelligent platform software, transforming approaches to bird monitoring and protection. For example, it can be used to help researchers establish correlations between a variety of environmental factors and bird habits, supporting experts and staff to further improve protection measures and plans.

Protecting migratory birds and their precious wetland habitat with AIoT technology
Protecting migratory birds and their precious wetland habitat with AIoT technology

Measuring conservation success at Dongtan Reserve

The conversation team works tirelessly to ensure that the Dongtan Reserve meets the needs of visiting bird populations, and the video perception equipment has become part of the conservation toolkit. Thanks to the hard work of Jieyun and other specialists, the number of bird species recorded in Beibayao Wetland has increased from 150 to more than 200.

Among the general bird population, there are some "star" species, including the spoon-billed sandpiper, a species with fewer than 500 individuals remaining in the world. The staff at the reserve have also seen laughing gulls, curly-feathered pelicans, Chinese crested terns, and other rare birds.

"Bird monitoring is an essential part of Dongtan Reserve's habitat management," Jieyun continued. "The dedicated on-site team records bird species, numbers, breeding conditions and a range of other data that reflect the status of the wetland and the effectiveness of our management efforts. The video perception devices enable the staff to better manage the wetland and to ensure that migratory birds enjoy a good living environment and have enough food to thrive."

As part of Hikvision's Global STAR Program for Social Good, the Dongtan Reserve project is bringing a brighter future for the birds and the wetland ecosystem. With the power of technology, Hikvision will continue to explore innovative ways to benefit communities and protect our valuable nature and culture. If you want to join us and create a better world together, please click here.