Nature photographers posting to social media are serving to enhance biodiversity conservation mapping in South Asia, and the strategy may go world.
Dr Shawan Chowdhury from UQ’s Faculty of the Surroundings led a world crew which scoured photographs on Fb nature images teams in Bangladesh, so as to add to the present World Biodiversity Data Facility database.
“We discovered 44,000 images of just about 1,000 animal species, together with many birds and bugs, 288 of that are thought-about threatened in Bangladesh,” Dr Chowdhury stated.
“This has vastly improved habitat mapping throughout the nation the place solely 4.6 per cent of land is designated as protected.
“We recognized many extra high-priority areas for conservation, spanning 4,000 sq. kilometres for birds and 10,000 sq. kilometres for butterflies.
“We’d been lacking out on the distribution information of a whole bunch of endangered species in Bangladesh so this can be a large end result.
“This might change the way in which scientists collect biodiversity info sooner or later, particularly in areas the place there’s a lack of dependable and up-to-date structured monitoring to tell conservation efforts.”
In Australia, social media posts are getting used to trace pest species.
“A South Asian butterfly, referred to as the tawny coster, entered Australia in 2012,” Dr Chowdhury stated.
“We’ve searched for extra locality data from Fb to analyse the motion, ecology and colonisation standing of this species and proven that it expanded at about 135 kilometres per yr in Australia between 2012 and 2020.”
Co-author Professor Richard Fuller from UQ stated whereas Fb had been useful, there are some large alternatives for social media corporations.
“There’s at present no automated solution to acquire this info, and it was a really arduous job for us to do it manually.” Professor Fuller stated.
“We hope our analysis can encourage the event of expertise similar to an app that transfers biodiversity information posted on Fb on to the worldwide biodiversity databases.
“This manner, conservation scientists can simply entry that information and use it.”
The analysis is printed in Bioscience, One Earth, and Conservation Biology.