Protecting New Zealand biodiversity
Monitoring introduced predators helps wildlife managers ensure ecosystems have high native biodiversity and become more resilient. Resilient ecosystems are extremely valuable because they are more resistant to droughts, diseases or storms.
By knowing where, when and why predator numbers are increasing (or decreasing), managers can target their work and maximise their efforts to protect native species.
Monitoring introduced predators
Remote cameras are one of the best tools for monitoring introduced predators in New Zealand. Remote cameras take photos of animals that pass in front of them. By placing multiple cameras in a reserve (like in the example below), managers can find out the location and abundance of introduced predators.
The main limitation to using remote cameras is the large amount of images collected. This requires a great deal of time and effort for managers to review each image.
Automatically identifying the animals in the photos can help to speed up the process of the images.
But how do you train a computer to recognise photos of animals?
Learn how in the next section.