Monitoring Biodiversity in Croatia's Kopački Rit Nature Park


    Nov 22, 2023

    Rainforest Connection (RFCx), Arbimon, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences at the University of Osijek, and Huawei Croatia have partnered with Kopački Rit Nature Park on an exciting 3-year project to monitor birds, frogs, and mammals in this Croatian park!


    We are using passive acoustic monitoring to survey biodiversity across the wetlands and surrounding forests in the park.

    Kopački Rit covers 23,126 hectares of northeastern Croatia, located where the Danube and Drava Rivers meet. Wetlands and marshes cover >40% of the park, with riverine forests making up an additional 30%. Kopački Rit is a RAMSAR site, meaning that it has been declared a Wetland of International Importance and a key wildlife conservation area.

    Ecoacoustic monitoring allows us to efficiently and comprehensively monitor biodiversity in the park, to determine species' richness, composition, and distribution. Using RFCx’s Arbimon platform, we will develop an AI model that can automate the classification process of species. Data from the first year of the project will be used to train the AI model and establish a biodiversity baseline, which will then be used to track changes over time.

    One of our Biodiversity Scientists, Tomaz Melo, recently traveled to Croatia to train the University team on acoustic monitoring. RFCx’s approach is deeply collaborative, and these field visits allow us to both learn directly from our local partners and build on-the-ground capacity. During this first round of sampling, the team deployed recorders at 100 sites across the park.

    “Traveling to Croatia and meeting the partners at Kopački Rit Nature Park and University of Osijek was incredible! I was surprised to see how similar the park is to the wetlands of the Amazon. In fact, the number of mosquitoes seemed even greater than any place I have ever explored in South America!

    The team taught me so much about the local wildlife and landscapes. I really enjoyed biking from the university campus to Kopački Rit every day – I could see so many species along the way!” 

    Tomaz Melo, RFCx Biodiversity Scientist


    “Embarking on this project is like diving into a treasure hunt of passion and purpose. We’re fueled by the excitement to safeguard our natural heritage, weaving a story that transcends borders with top-notch partners RFCx and Huawei. A special shout-out to Tomaz Melo, who made the journey from the heart of the Amazon to pave the way for a harmonious collaboration between technology and nature.

    Tomaz and the University team braved heavy rains to capture the essence of wild species. Our commitment, rain or shine, truly exemplifies the spirit of our collective mission.”

    Ivana Majić, Entomologist at the University of Osijek

    Our science team is now hard at work building the AI model, but we’ve already found some really cool vocalizations! Have a listen below to hear some of Kopački Rit’s flagship species, such as the white-tailed eagle, red deer, European tree frog, and great spotted woodpecker. The white-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in all of Europe, and even features on the park’s logo!

    Red Deer

    White-Tailed Eagle

    European Tree Frog & European Fire-Bellied Toad

    Great Spotted Woodpecker


    About the author

    Carly Batist

    Carly is the Science Outreach Lead at Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a nature tech non-profit that harnesses the power of sound and AI for biodiversity monitoring and threat detection at scale. RFCx also hosts Arbimon, a cloud-based platform for visualizing, analyzing, and interpreting ecoacoustic data.

    • This post was originally published on
    • Follow Rainforest Connection (RFCx) on X



    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.


      Leave a Comment

      Posted in


      Posted in