Better insect counting methods are desperately needed, given the recent observations that insect populations have declined dramatically in recent decades, with all the consequences that this entails in ecosystems. Since the beginning of 2019, EIS Knowledge Center for Insects, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Radboud University and COSMONiO have been working on the development of a new monitoring system for insects.
How does it work?
The insect camera consists of a digital camera, computer, battery and screen that flying insects sit on because they are attracted by the color and light on the screen at night. The insect camera can count and recognize insects fully automatically. Image recognition, the technology behind automatic cameras, has been trained with hundreds of thousands of photos of insects. Subsequently, professionals help to improve automatic image recognition. This camera enables long-term, standardized and cost-efficient monitoring. The data can be automatically processed into indices about diversity and biomass.
The long-term goal is to realize an accepted standard for automated insect cameras, so that there is broad support for insect monitoring research in the coming decades.
More information about the cameras can be found at https://diopsis.eu/
Project lead: Chantal Huijbers
Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Research Coordination Office (RCO)