Just a quick shout out to Spark. Some folks at Spark heard about our project and immediately offered to help. From the first meeting we walked out with some sim cards with free data to play around with. No paper work, no delay, just a quick “yeah that sounds good – go for it”. We can see lots of ways their team and services can help accelerate this project over time.
Our design philosophy is to create a device that can:
- Identify 100% of the predators out there – unless you can do this there is no way to know how well you are progressing (looks like we are very close to a device that can do this - link)
- Lure 100% of the predators – there are lots of possibilities with using digital lures (link)
- Kill 100% of the predators
This project initially started with the goal of creating a tool to dramatically improve monitoring how the environment responds to predator eradication. In New Zealand we are lucky that the bird song is literally the canary in the mine:
Firstly, we love the government’s new announcement of the target to be predator free by 2050. Bold, ballsy and just the sort of thing New Zealand should do. What we would like to do here is a little analysis of why we think it will happen sooner than that.
Moore's law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This has morphed into a remarkably consistent observation that Information Technology either doubles in performance or halves in cost about every two years
Trapping, poison, hunting, and fences have all been turned against pests to help prevent the ongoing slaughter of New Zealand birds. However, we know that current trapping methods aren’t cutting it.
The goal of this project is to develop tools that eliminate 100% of predators. To do this the device must therefore be able to detect 100% of predators. Chew cards and tracking tunnels can miss over 60% of predators. Standard camera traps are thought to miss as little as 5% of predators due to not starting fast enough or the light/sound scaring animals away. There are also issues with false positives making it difficult and time consuming to filter the videos
Summary of the technical features of the project and how we are progressing with each.
The Cacophony Project was featured on the TV3 news station Newshub...
We start our first blog with what sounds like an outrageously bold claim; that it is possible to make eradication of predators in New Zealand 80,000 times more efficient. Technology could make it possible...