How would you monitor difficult to find threatened species across NSW’s vast environment?
Scientists from the Saving our Species (SoS) program use motion-triggered cameras to capture the presence, number and activity of these threatened species. Once the cameras detect movement they take a burst of images, which are then downloaded and tagged to identify the animal that has triggered the camera. Scientists can then use this data to monitor threatened species, fill knowledge gaps, and inform on-ground conservation programs.
However, there is a problem. The cameras take many more photos than can be processed by scientists alone – this is where you can help.
Scientists are uploading images onto DigiVol, a crowdsourcing website created by the Australian Museum in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia. You can now go to DigiVol to begin identifying what animals have been captured within these images. All you need to take part is access to a computer and an internet connection, the citizen science team have created user-friendly guides to help you navigate the system and learn how to identify the animals.
By tagging the animals in the images as a citizen scientist you are directly contributing data to scientists that are responsible for conserving our threatened species.
What projects can I contribute to?
Improving citizen science data output
The Citizen Science team has analysed citizen data from the Malleefowl project to investigate the accuracy of participants identifying animals in images captured by camera traps.
In 2018-19 the NSW Saving our Species program contributed to upgrading the DigiVol website, along with the Australian Museum and CSIRO, to improve user experience and output data quality. The upgrades to the website implemented a multi-transcription and auto-validation system to improve transcription accuracy by implementing a system where an image is viewed by multiple participants. If an image is viewed and transcribed identically by multiple participants, the image is auto-validated by the DigiVol system.
We used this new system to analyse 1900 auto-validated images from the Malleefowl Project and found that citizen scientists were transcribing images accurately 99.47% of the time. This is a great result – well done to our citizen scientists.
How do I sign up?
It is really simple to contribute to Saving our Species.
- Create your account on DigiVol.
- Search for Saving our Species on the institution page and choose a Saving our Species project.
- Choose from the expeditions listed, click the view tutorial button to read the instructions and then get started tagging images.