Lead Researcher: Associate Professor Delene Weber

This project seeks to improve wildlife detection in blue gum plantations by systematically testing and comparing the efficacy of a range of existing and emerging methods. In doing so, this project aims to: reduce the number of incidents that occur during timber harvesting operations; improve safety conditions for forest workers improve safety conditions for forest workers by examining alternatives to current method used for wildlife spotting; and develop a strong evidence base for the industry’s efforts in this field.

The initial phases of this project have evaluated the accuracy of current technologies for wildlife detection and noted significant variability.  To improve this the team has focussed on the development of a biologically inspired target enhancement technique for detecting wildlife using high dynamic infrared aerial imagery.  Insect eyes can effectively detect and track small targets in high clutter environments, which is exactly what is needed to detect wildlife more effectively. The use of a UAV-mounted IR camera and bio-vision processing has enhanced detection of wildlife while simultaneously lowering false alarm rates. The team is developing the capability to provide real-time accurate data to industry on the location of wildlife.  It is also currently developing a ground-based application using the same system.  The first two milestones have highlighted the clear potential of the new technologies being trialled in this study. The next phase will continue to refine this technology and begin comparing methods based on a set of practical considerations.

Our team:  Delene Weber, Morgan Schebella, Jim O'Hehir, Anthony Finn, Russell Brinkworth, Liath Al-Shimaysawee, Aaron Melville-Smith. Stefan Peters, Desley Whisson (Deakin University), Braden Jenkin (Sylva Systems Pty Ltd).

Data collection in the field

Project researchers collecting data in the field

Data collection in the field 2



Contact information

Dr Jim O’Hehir
General Manager: Forest Research Mount Gambier
Ph: +61 8 830 28997
E: Jim.O'Hehir@unisa.edu.au

Michele Cranage
Administrative Officer
Ph: +61 8 830 28902
E: Michele.Cranage@unisa.edu.au