Digital technologies facilitate wildlife conservation in China’s Xinjiang

XINJIANG: Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has made great strides in preserving its diverse flora and fauna by implementing a smart wildlife conservation system that utilises modern information technology such as satellite tracking systems, infrared cameras, drones, video surveillance devices, remote sensing equipment, and ranger patrol apps.

According to People’s Daily Online, Xinjiang, a region in China known for its rich biodiversity, is home to more than 700 species of wild vertebrates, with 178 considered key wild animals under national protection.

Infrared cameras have become essential for monitoring and researching wild animals without disturbing them, said Ma Ming, a research fellow of Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In recent years, the once-elusive snow leopard, a wild animal species under national first-class protection in China, has been frequently captured in videos and images, as infrared cameras have been widely used to mon
itor wild animals, according to Ma.

In addition to technological means on the ground, satellites and drones have also become part of Xinjiang’s wildlife conservation system. The Xinjiang Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve has established a space-air-ground integrated monitoring system comprising satellites, drones, and ground monitoring facilities to track and monitor wild Bactrian camels, a species under China’s first-class national protection.

At Xinjiang’s Bosten Lake, an important habitat for migratory birds in China, experts from the National Bird Banding Centre of China have fitted birds with satellite tracking devices to better understand and study their migration patterns, distribution, seasonal movements, and population structures.

In the Kalamaili Nature Reserve of Xinjiang, information about the locations of the endangered Przewalski’s horse is displayed in real-time on large screens at the reserve’s command centre. Unmanned drones stationed deep within the reserve can autonomously take
off and track wild animals, monitor for fires, and assist with the emergency response after receiving instructions from the command centre.

Xinjiang has accelerated the construction of its smart wildlife conservation system in recent years. The region’s forestry and grassland bureau has signed strategic cooperation agreements with the Xinjiang branches of China Telecom and China Mobile to promote the application of advanced technologies in various areas.

As Xinjiang’s smart wildlife conservation system continues to evolve, the region’s ecological conservation efforts are shifting towards applying more advanced technologies such as cloud computing and big data analysis, making human-nature interactions more visible and tangible.

Source: Emirates News Agency