Scientists call on AI to save bristlebird

·1-min read

Scientists are using a high-tech call recognition tool to map and save the bushfire-ravaged eastern bristlebird, a melodic but shy ground-dwelling species.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) pattern recognition tool is one of eight recovery projects getting taxpayer funding through a dedicated federal national species co-ordinator.

"One of the key learnings from the Black Summer bushfires was a need for co-ordinated on-ground action, monitoring and research, across the entire range of a species, to support its recovery," Environment Minister Sussan Ley said on Monday.

The endangered eastern bristlebird can be easily recognised by its song and alarm-call.

By creating a tool that automatically and accurately detects the bird's calls from remote field recordings, and using updated radio transmission methods, the remaining populations can be tracked.

"We will also be using highly skilled volunteer scientists to collect data that will inform the future recovery actions we need to take to support the recovery of the bristlebird across its entire range," she said.

Other projects for the eastern bristlebird include habitat restoration, health and disease research, and support for the establishment of a new genetically viable population in Victoria as a safety net in case of extreme weather events or the spread of disease.

The $10 million funding initiative for the long-term recovery of more than 70 species will target the most fire-affected regions across New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria and Queensland.

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