Protecting Italy's Oasis of Biodiversity


    Jan 26, 2023

    In this guest post, our partner Rainforest Connection gives an overview of the TECH4ALL ‘Nature Guardian’ project in Italy. Covering three ‘Oasis’ sites designated by project partner WWF Italy, the project aims to study biodiversity and protect natural habitats by preventing illegal activities such as poaching.

    Don’t miss the first two posts in this series:

    Rainforest Connection authors

    Project region

    • Astroni Crater, Naples
    • Orbetello Lagoon, Tuscany
    • Lake Burano, Tuscany

    Project scope

    RFCx is collaborating with WWF Italy and Huawei Italy to deploy acoustic monitoring systems that enable WWF Italy and local partners to monitor illegal activities in sites in Astroni Crater (a natural reserve created around an extinct volcano), Orbetello (a peninsula in Tuscany), and Burano (an island in the North Venetian Lagoon).

    Astroni Crater / Image credit: Lawrence Whittaker, RFCx
    Orbetello Lagoon / Image credit: Lawrence Whittaker, RFCx
    Lake Burano / Drone footage

    The project aims to enable a comprehensive understanding of the biodiversity present, with ‘Guardian’ installation sites chosen to detect illegal activities and monitor biodiversity.

    Project significance and description

    To date, the Italy project has collected 272,452 recordings from 72 sites in our Arbimon platform.

    The combination of manual validation and pattern-matching models have resulted in 47 bird species being detected. The data has identified one endangered species – the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata). No endemic species have been found in the dataset, but 32 species are resident and 15 migratory.

    Project Partners: Huawei Italy, WWF Italy

    A few of the species that have been monitored:

    Image credit:

    Click the link to listen to a sound sample of the Eurasian Green-woodpecker.

    Image credit:

    Click the link to listen to a sound sample of the Eurasian Curlew.

    Image credit: Gabriel Leite, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist

    Click the link to listen to a sound sample of the Long-tailed Tit.

     December 2021: Dismantling bird poaching equipment discovered by the Guardian system after the system detected fake bird calls played to attract bird species targeted by poachers / Video credit: Rainforest Connection

    Further reading

    Click the following links to find out more about the work of Rainforest Connection and to learn more about the Italy TECH4ALL project.

    Read more about the projects in which Rainforest Connection is partnership with Huawei and other local partners to protect threatened ecosystems under the Huawei TECH4ALL initiative:

    Rainforests and forests [Primary objective]

    Forest, Wetlands & Oceans [Primary objective]

    Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.


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