Grant Program: Innovative Biodiversity Monitoring
The Innovative Biodiversity Monitoring grants aim to:
- provide innovative biodiversity baseline assessment and monitoring technologies and approaches for use in the Nature Repair Market
- support confidence in the integrity of the market
- lower the costs of project monitoring
- deliver a range of monitoring technologies and approaches for use across Australia.
Identifying, validating and scaling up ecologically-robust and cost-effective monitoring methods and biodiversity metrics to support a Nature Repair Market
Funding amount: $1,228,651.09 ex GST.
The project offers a model for effectively calibrating and combining new data sets from drone imagery, eDNA and eco-acoustics with a more traditional ecological dataset (in this case one spanning over 24 years). This will inform a meaningful and reliable framework that delivers high data integrity at a reasonable cost – an approach that could be replicated nationally.
NatureScan: Remote sensing and AI-powered drone solutions for advanced biodiversity monitoring
Funding amount: $1,207,038.18 ex GST.
This project will advance rapid surveys by combining remote sensing with AI-powered drones to deliver fine-scale habitat and species data. The project will make it easier for more people to use drones to track biodiversity. It will also deliver open-source monitoring protocols and basic training that can be applied by land managers.
The approach will be applicable nationally. This approach will help deliver cost effective monitoring for nature repair projects.
Using artificial intelligence to enhance capacity of FrogID to monitor biodiversity
Funding amount: $877,272.73 ex GST.
The Australian Museum’s free FrogID App allows anyone with a smartphone to record frog calls. Citizen scientists can use the app to help measure frog health and distribution around the country. This project supports the use of AI technology to better identify the acoustic recordings captured using the FrogID App. This improvement to the FrogID App will also encourage Australians to take part in frog data collection. The project will also improve the scalability, cost effectiveness and timeliness of the data the app captures.
Frogs are a frequently-used indicator of environmental quality. Monitoring frog distributions and populations over time provides insight into ecosystem's health and how they respond to change. Over 90 per cent of the FrogID dataset is captured on private property.
A scalable workflow for the audio monitoring of biodiversity across urban and remote Australia
Funding amount: $812,771.82 ex GST.
This project will make it cheaper and easier to process and analyse audio biodiversity data gathered anywhere in Australia through the development of a streamlined dataflow process for audio monitoring of biodiversity that can be used in large-scale monitoring programs in remote Australia. The outcome will be a fully operational audio data-processing workflow that will lead to demonstrable end-to-end cost reductions in surveying, processing, and analysis.
Audio monitoring has the potential to gather data on a wider range of species (including birds, mammals, frogs and insects) than most other non-traditional methods. It can also be applied in a wide range of landscapes, including difficult to access areas. The project will be primarily undertaken in Western NSW but has national applicability.
Nature-based solutions for climate (NbS4C) in northern Australia
Funding amount: $806,000 ex GST.
This project will be based in the Kimberley region of WA. It will develop a low-cost, accurate and fit for purpose method for monitoring broad-scale biodiversity outcomes from Traditional Owner fire management of Northern Australian savannas. The project will undertake biodiversity surveys and monitoring to test ecological thresholds in northern savannas. It will also deliver a platform to enable rapid biodiversity data collation. This data can then easily integrate with online data repositories.
This approach will provide insight into the biodiversity impacts of traditional savanna burning across Australia, complementing the greenhouse impact information already being gathered. The project outcomes will be applicable across all Northern Australian savannas.
An accurate and efficient AI solution to camera-trap data for processing for biodiversity monitoring
Funding amount: $750,752.73 ex GST.
Using an AI solution to camera-trap data processing, this project will develop more accurate and efficient biodiversity monitoring by providing faster and cheaper image processing from camera-traps. At the moment, tracking biodiversity in some landscapes requires ecologists in the field. This method will make it easier to use camera-traps to track species in those environments.
AWC is well placed to deliver this project as it has the most extensive biodiversity monitoring program in Australia. The results of this project will be applicable nationally.
A transformative digital DNA platform for terrestrial biodiversity monitoring with environmental DNA (eDNA)
Funding amount: $569,464.55 ex GST.
This project will create a National Biodiversity DNA Library. This library will provide an authoritative digital DNA resource. It will be freely available for species identification from eDNA samples collected anywhere in Australia.
During eDNA surveys many species remain unidentified because their eDNA cannot be matched with a known species. The DNA library provides accurate and fast identification of more species using eDNA. This will support biodiversity monitoring efforts across Australia.
Working with Indigenous land managers across the desert to refine and calibrate an environmental condition assessment method that integrates indigenous knowledge and remote sensing technologies
Funding amount: $513,997.27 ex GST.
This project works with Indigenous land managers across the NT desert landscape to calibrate the Desert Habitat Method (developed for Accounting for Nature) for use in nature repair projects.
This project integrates Indigenous knowledge and remote sensing technologies and will build the capacity of Indigenous community members from remote locations to take part in biodiversity monitoring. This is important as the results of this project will be applicable to around 30 per cent of Australia.
Measuring the habitat condition of desert and savannah vegetation integrating on-ground biodiversity survey data, drone and satellite remote sensing
Funding amount: $446,843.45 ex GST.
This project will integrate on-ground biodiversity survey data, drone, and satellite remote sensing to measure the habitat condition of desert and savanna vegetation.
This is useful because it will provide integrated data collection, verification and synthesis that establishes relationships between the data collected at the various scales. The project will also involve First Nations people in the Kimberley region. The results of the project will be applicable to similar biomes nationally.
An automated acoustic biodiversity assessment tool for rapid woodland bird health and diversity checks in eastern Australia
Funding amount: $419,475.45 ex GST.
This project will develop an automated acoustic biodiversity assessment tool for rapid woodland bird health and diversity checks. The system will be trained to identify all bird species that are important indicators for the health of woodlands as well as invasive species, indicating deteriorating environmental conditions.
While delivered for woodlands of SE Australia the methodology will be able to then be adapted for use nationally.
AVILAS: Automating individual tree-scale vegetation structure and aboveground biomass inventory and monitoring at local to regional scales with drone LiDAR and satellite data
Funding amount: $227,914.55 ex GST.
A limitation of satellite-based vegetation structure measurement is a lack of detailed calibration data across a range of vegetation communities. The project will use a new drone-based LiDAR processing capability called ‘ray cloud’ to address this, allowing software to reconstruct the vegetation in 3D. This will produce information covering features like tree numbers over an area, stem diameter, crown height etc. This will help us understand the impact of trees on biodiversity, without the need for time consuming and expensive field surveys conducted by specialists. The results of this project will be applicable nationally.
Implementation plan for not-for-profit community groups
Funding amount: $139,818.18 ex GST.
This project will develop a plan for biodiversity monitoring that can be applied in the Nature Repair Market and environmental accounting by all environmental community organisations.
It will provide effective set strategies for achieving low-cost baseline biodiversity monitoring involving input from community organisations. The project will involve Indigenous communities to ensure cultural knowledge and values relating to biodiversity and cultural heritage can be identified.