Wild pollinators are an integral part of native plant communities and are highly effective at pollinating flowers in natural ecosystems. The GaliWatch project is dedicated to developing low-cost data collection and analysis systems for long-term pollinator surveillance and hyperlocal weather and climate monitoring. Within natural ecosystems, the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators provides redundancy that ensures ongoing pollination and plant productivity despite a changing environment. Changing environmental conditions caused by weather, climate change, or human interventions, may disrupt pollinator activity for some species but enhance it for others. To monitor these phenomena, we have established a low-cost set-up of cameras to monitor floral visitations by pollinators, and data-loggers to monitor local environmental conditions. Our cameras will capture approximately 0.5 million images (2 terabytes of data!) over a six-month study period. To process this dataset, we are currently training and running a convolutional neural network. Once successful, we will spread the word on how you can make your own pollinator and climate monitoring setup.
Project Initiated January 2021
Current status: Ongoing