Recording the biodiversity of moths (Lepidoptera) with automated camera traps and artificial intelligence

The drastic decline in insect populations (“insect die-off”) is causing great concern for ecosystems worldwide. There is a lack of reliable and comprehensive surveys of insect populations in order to reliably record and understand these developments. The aim of the project is to develop a practical system for nationwide, automated monitoring of nocturnal insects in order to reliably document population changes. High-resolution, robust, automatic camera traps are used to capture insects that are attracted by a UV lamp. Initially, the relatively well-known nocturnal large butterflies with more than 1100 species in Germany will be investigated. The project will develop systems for data transmission, storage, and image annotation and investigate fundamental methodological questions, for example which insect groups are fundamentally suitable for the method.

In the first phase, the project pursues the in-depth development of a concept and the preparation of an application for a second phase, which will focus on the implementation of the aforementioned objectives. In addition, initial scientific work will be carried out in the project to enable an effective and rapid entry into a possible second phase.

Project lead: Dr. Gunnar Brehm

Institute of Zoology and Evolution, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Second Project lead: Dr. Paul Bodesheim

Institute for Computer Science, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena