Revolutionizing the way we monitor biodiversity in the Amazon

To this day, there is no effective method for observing wildlife in tropical forests on a large scale. This is about to change.

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Amazon pink dolphin

An Underwater Acoustic Ribbon for the Conservation of the Amazon Pink Dolphin in the Mamirauá Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil
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PROJECT PROVIDENCE

The Sense of Silence Foundation joins forces with scientists from Brazil (the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute and the Federal University of Amazonas) and Australia (CSIRO) to develop the most sophisticated remote monitoring system ever used to track the diminishing biodiversity of the Amazon Forest under the Project Providence.
The high tech project will revolutionise the way biodiversity is monitored by creating a distributed, wireless sensor network throughout the jungle with autonomous nodes that continuously monitor wildlife under the canopy of the Amazon Forest.

PROJECT PROVIDENCE

The Sense of Silence Foundation joins forces with scientists from Brazil (the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute and the Federal University of Amazonas) and Australia (CSIRO) to develop the most sophisticated remote monitoring system ever used to track the diminishing biodiversity of the Amazon Forest under the Project Providence.
The high tech project will revolutionise the way biodiversity is monitored by creating a distributed, wireless sensor network throughout the jungle with autonomous nodes that continuously monitor wildlife under the canopy of the Amazon Forest.





Number of Providence nodes:1.000 by 2020
Providence Phase 1:10 nodes in 2018
Providence Phase 2:100 nodes in 2019
Phase 1 cost: 1,4 M$
Area covered: the whole Amazon rainforest
BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PROJECT

The international team lead by the Mamirauá Institute, has been granted US$1,2 million by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to carry out the first stage of this biodiversity monitoring project. Dr Emiliano Esterci Ramalho, researcher and monitoring coordinator at the Mamirauá Institute in Brazil and Providence project leader, said the initial study area is at the southern end of the Mamirauá Reserve, between the Amazon and Japurá rivers. “One of the major concerns for scientists worldwide is loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species. An accurate biodiversity assessment of an area such as the Amazon is essential to help combat the potential loss of wildlife,” Dr Ramalho said.

BIODIVERSITY MONITORING PROJECT

The international team lead by the Mamirauá Institute, has been granted US$1,2 million by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to carry out the first stage of this biodiversity monitoring project. Dr Emiliano Esterci Ramalho, researcher and monitoring coordinator at the Mamirauá Institute in Brazil and Providence project leader, said the initial study area is at the southern end of the Mamirauá Reserve, between the Amazon and Japurá rivers. “One of the major concerns for scientists worldwide is loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species. An accurate biodiversity assessment of an area such as the Amazon is essential to help combat the potential loss of wildlife,” Dr Ramalho said.


LIVE STREAM

“We’ll be collecting data from acoustic sensors (for underwater creatures, as well as terrestrial animals such as birds, frogs and monkeys), visual images, environmental data (wind, temperature, humidity, air pressure), and even thermal images. The animals of key interest in the trial stages are a range of species including jaguars, monkeys, bats, birds, reptiles, river dolphins and fish,” he said. Professor Michel André, founder and president of The Sense of Silence Foundation and director of the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics of the Technical University of Catalonia, BarcelonaTech, said the technique previously developed in the ocean to monitor wildlife with underwater passive acoustics will be a key technology in this project. “New sensor developments and increased power in processing modules, originally developed for complex underwater ocean ecosystems, will be applied to the conservation of terrestrial and aquatic creatures for the first time in a large scale environment like the Amazon,” Professor André said.
“One of our biggest challenges is handling a live stream of data containing sounds and images from a tremendous number of known animals, and probably several unknown species, from the smallest bugs to jaguars. This unique biodiversity of sounds will be streamed online so the scientific community and the general public shall follow our progress in real-time from the comfort of their lounge room,” he said.

LIVE STREAM

“We’ll be collecting data from acoustic sensors (for underwater creatures, as well as terrestrial animals such as birds, frogs and monkeys), visual images, environmental data (wind, temperature, humidity, air pressure), and even thermal images. The animals of key interest in the trial stages are a range of species including jaguars, monkeys, bats, birds, reptiles, river dolphins and fish,” he said. Professor Michel André, founder and president of The Sense of Silence Foundation and director of the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics of the Technical University of Catalonia, BarcelonaTech, said the technique previously developed in the ocean to monitor wildlife with underwater passive acoustics will be a key technology in this project. “New sensor developments and increased power in processing modules, originally developed for complex underwater ocean ecosystems, will be applied to the conservation of terrestrial and aquatic creatures for the first time in a large scale environment like the Amazon,” Professor André said.
“One of our biggest challenges is handling a live stream of data containing sounds and images from a tremendous number of known animals, and probably several unknown species, from the smallest bugs to jaguars. This unique biodiversity of sounds will be streamed online so the scientific community and the general public shall follow our progress in real-time from the comfort of their lounge room,” he said.


Number of Providence nodes:1.000 by 2020
Providence Phase 1:10 nodes in 2018
Providence Phase 2:100 nodes in 2019
Phase 1 cost: 1,4 M$
Area covered: the whole Amazon rainforest
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"The Sense of Silence Foundation is giving Nature a powerful voice that everyone can hear"
- Michel André -