ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TO HELP INTELLIGENT DOLPHINS
We’ve developed an AI-powered tracking drone to autonomously find, follow, and uniquely identify Māui and Hector's dolphins.
Once we know where they are and where they travel, we can protect our taonga from extinction. We have to do some clever thinking to stop the world’s rarest dolphin population from dropping below 63.
The biggest threats are location-related. By identifying individual dolphins, knowing where they are and when they are there, decisions can be made to protect them from fishing, climate change, toxoplasmosis and other mishaps. It will help tremendously to halt the decline towards extinction.
THE PROJECT IN A NUTSHELL
Find and track dolphins via surveys, to create accurate spatial distribution models
Reveal temporal changes in dolphin movement patterns
Use the data to inform threat risk models informed by natural (e.g. shark predation) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. fisheries, climate change, toxoplasmosis).
Uniquely identify individuals via fin markings
Distinguishing between adults and calves
By automating the surveying process, regular location data of critically endangered marine animals can finally be captured.
MAUI63 WANTS TO
UNDERSTAND ALL THE MAIN THREATS TO
NO MORE FISHING
Commercial fishing is a threat to the dolphins, but also an economically important industry to New Zealand. Restricted zones and sanctuaries are in place, but without continuous monitoring they are hard to manage, and the sanctuaries can’t be extended appropriately.
Our up to date data will allow policy makers to accurately update the restricted zones, ensuring fishing boats are nowhere near the dolphins!