Camera recording and video analysis have emerged as a successful non‐invasive method for collecting a wide range of biological data on many different species. However, camera monitoring is currently very rarely applied to long‐term surveillance of cavity or box‐nesting species and so far only ordinary off‐the‐shelf cameras are being utilized.
The problem of the long‐term surveillance of cavity or box‐nesting species is addressed by the Czech SME dealing with embedded technologies in a close cooperation with one of the Czech universities. They jointly offers solution based on a “camera surveillance system”, which comprises of a regular nest box with additional space to house all the required components. The system consist of one or two HD cameras, an event detector placed in the opening (infra-red light barrier), environmental sensors (a thermometer, a humidity meter, a barometer, an illumination sensor, a magnetometer), and can be further extended by other components (an RFID reader, an infra-red thermometer, a weighing system). The system is operated by two operating systems, running simultaneously on an embedded computer.
The system is designed for automatic video recording of bird’s activity based on the event detector, and permanent acquisition of environmental data. These are stored on an embedded MicroSD card and automatically submitted to the central servers at night-time. The internet connection is realized by an Ethernet cable, which also provides electric power by PoE (Power over Ethernet) mechanism. Alternatively, the system can be operated offline, being powered by a 12 Volts traction battery.
The standard online variant also offers live video streaming, accessible both from the local network (private streaming) and from the internet (public streaming).
The solution provided allows for example observation of birds’ parental activities and their timing, the diet composition and frequency of prey delivery, the manner of prey storage, the light intensity at the time of each parental activity, the temperature inside the clutch and outside the box and the duration of nestling period of each young.
The smart camera surveillance system can be easily adjusted for research on other species (mammals, bees etc.) as well. As a result, the smart camera surveillance system could be used not only for diurnal and nocturnal animals breeding in nest boxes or bigger cavities, but also to research any animal where the action of interest is triggered by actively crossing a specific spot.
In the case of commercial agreement with technical assistance: installations of the smart camera surveillance system on the local market with the help from the Czech SME and representation of the company on the market.
In the case of services agreement: Adaptation of the smart camera surveillance system according to the client’s needs in close cooperation with the local partner.