New Technology To Save Red Squirrels In The UK

A new project will focus on using AI technology to save red squirrels in UK woodlands with areas where both populations live side by side.

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One of the UK’s most loved native species, the endangered red squirrel has lost 60 per cent of its range in England and Wales over the last 13 years, and it is estimated that there are fewer than 290,000 left across the country.

Monitoring is a critical part of conservation efforts as this allows conservationists the opportunity to better understand habitats, behaviours and the role of other species.

The Mammal Society is partnering with the University of Bristol, international NGO Rainforest Connection, and Huawei Technologies on an innovative new campaign to help protect red squirrels by generating unprecedented insights into the lives and activities of declining populations across the UK.

Technology To Save Red Squirrels

A new project will focus on using technology in UK woodlands with red squirrel populations, grey squirrel populations, and areas where both live side by side.

The project will see advanced bio-acoustic, cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies deployed to help experts assess and monitor squirrel populations. It will use custom-built “Guardian” and “Audiomoth” monitoring devices and Huawei software to analyse the natural noise of the environment – the first time Huawei’s world-leading technology has been applied in this way in the UK.

Monitoring is a critical part of conservation efforts as this allows conservationists the opportunity to better understand habitats, behaviours and the role of other species.

Dr. Stephanie Wray, chair of the Mammal Society said:

We face an urgent crisis in protecting some of the UK’s best-loved native species, and there is no creature more iconic than the red squirrel.

This programme is the latest step in Huawei’s global partnership with Rainforest Connection and their efforts to promote biodiversity worldwide.

Victor Zhang, Huawei UK vice-president said:

Climate change is one of top global challenges. This project demonstrates the power of technology to protect our natural environment and Huawei is keen to leverage the technologies to support it.

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