February 25, 2024

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Software to help in bird conservation and monitoring in NZ

A variety of native birds can be likely heard by anyone who wanders into the New Zealand bush. However, identifying which bird is which, especially if they imitate each other, will not be easy.

A Professor from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, together with his research team, had created software that can analyse sound recordings from the New Zealand bush and deduce the abundance of various types of birds.

According to a recent press release, AviaNZ allows them to monitor the health of bird populations without affecting their behaviours.

What can the software do?

Additionally, the technology could also monitor pests and predators by changing the types of recorders being used.

It could also be an excellent way to gauge the predator stress on a particular area.

The software can be trained to recognise any sound. As long as the predators are talking to each other and the microphone is close enough, it will be able to detect them.

The team have successfully trained the software to detect two types of native bats, which are inaudible to humans.

The software analyses spectrogram recordings, or the visual representations of sound waves, of bush sounds.

It then learns the sound waves patterns that represent each bird call and can count how many of those bird calls occur.

It is not as good as an expert human, who is concentrating hard at discerning the different calls. However, it is quite difficult for a human to maintain concentration to any 8-hour recording, while most of it is nothing, with no calls at all.

The software, on the other hand, does not care. Plus, it is very fast. A 15-minute recording takes it about a minute to process.

Current challenges

The team is currently working on being able to identify the direction and distance of the calls from the recorders as well as naming the individual birds.

They cannot differentiate yet if the 50 calls are from 5 birds making 10 calls each or 50 birds each calling once, but they are moving toward that.

The ultimate aim is to turn this into estimates of the abundance of different species.

Funding from the Science for Technological Innovation’s National Science Challenge was used to develop a different recorder that uses multiple microphones to mathematically auto-correlate the direction the sounds are coming from and their distance from the microphones.

The distance and direction aspects of this project are potentially very useful.

Once the location of the calls have been worked out, the number of birds that are doing the talking can be established.

The team have built a prototype recorder that can successfully estimate the direction of calls but have found estimating the distance from the recorder to be more difficult.

They will continue to work on this aspect of the recorder to improve their software and help contribute to conservation efforts in New Zealand.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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