Artificial Intelligence: The Nari Nari Tribals Are Using AI And Aerial Mapping To Restore Wetlands

July 18, 2022 | Artificial Intelligence, News

Precious wetlands in south-west New South Wales in Australia are being restored using modern technology.

At the Gayini Nimmie Caira property, indigenous traditional owners, the Nari Nari Tribal Council and their partners have started using artificial intelligence and aerial imaging to make better informed decisions regarding land and water management for restoring valuable wetlands. (ABC)

Environmental watering sourced from the Murrumbidgee River is being used to naturally revitalize the old cattle stations and other areas of the property including wetlands, and other ecosystem participants such as animals and plants.

Data from high-resolution aerial images of the property is being fed into mapping and artificial intelligence tools to show the use of the water and the progress of restoration work. Nearmap, a technology company, is providing the technology.

Work on restoration of the 88,000-hectare property was taken up by the Nari Nari in 2000, and what was once a dust bowl has since been transformed into a thriving wetland ecosystem. The Nari Nari are being partnered on the project by The Nature Conservancy.

Traditional water and land management methods relied on sight, hydrological monitoring and drones for monitoring the project.

However, with the new technology, land managers can see exactly where water is on the property and how its distribution is changing over time.

“Being able to see that change in extent of water, the extent of greenness, is going to be really important to show results over time,” says Dr James Fitzsimons of The Nature Conservancy.

“It’s hard to think there’s over 80,000 hectares of country, a lot of which is floodplains that are inaccessible, so this imagery will help us look and find those areas and help with management,” says Nari Nari Tribal Council vice chair Mark Brettschneider.

As a result of the restoration efforts, native birds and plants have begun returning in large numbers to the Gayini Nimmie Caira property.

Related Story: The NOAA’s S.O.S to AI and Robotics for Coral Restoration

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