Intact ecosystems, such as forests, are equally important for animals and humans and represent the basis of life on our planet. Due to the threat of climate catastrophe and the encroachment of humans into natural habitats, the integrity of these is threatened worldwide. Central to maintaining an intact environment is the preservation and promotion of biodiversity. An important tool in this regard is the comprehensive monitoring of wildlife in their natural habitats. Through constant monitoring, impending ecological problems, such as biodiversity loss or overpopulation, can be detected and prevented at an early stage. However, reliable area-wide monitoring, especially in forests, is currently only possible to a very limited extent.
The BAMBI project uses camera drones together with artificial intelligence to automatically monitor wildlife. Light field technology is used, which for the first time makes it possible to visualize what is happening on the forest floor, and thus to detect animals with a high degree of reliability. Based on this technology, an AI-powered system will be created that can detect and automatically classify animals on the forest floor and in the open terrain, thus allowing an area-wide and accurate count of wildlife that has not been possible until now. Research results and datasets of the project will be publicly available and allow for scientific analysis beyond the project.
BAMBI is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and implemented by the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the Büro für Wildökologie und Forstwirtschaft e.U., UMWELTDATA GmbH, and ViewCopter e.U.. In addition, the project is supported by the hunting associations of Lower Austria, Upper Austria, and Tyrol.
Light fields in action
What is visible? Single video frame