Daintree Rainforest Observatory Monitors Osprey Nest with Milestone Video

A Sony camera mounted in the canopy allows researchers a stunning bird’s eye view without disturbing the elusive raptors.


COPENHAGEN – February 10, 2015.  Milestone Systems’ open platform IP video management software (VMS), is the foundation for remote monitoring at James Cook University’s Daintree Rainforest Observatory in Australia. Researchers there have observed ospreys nesting in Daintree for years, but now a Milestone solution is giving them the chance to finally view and track their behavior up close.

James Cook University (JCU) in Australia enlisted the help of CoastalCOMS, a longtime Milestone Solution Partner specializing in cloud-hosted environmental digital asset management. They mounted a high-definition, fixed Sony network camera and a high-speed Sony PTZ network camera on a crane boom and tower over the osprey nesting area. Fiber optic cabling connects the cameras to the server. The cameras, which operate at one megabit per second, are controlled, viewed and recorded via Milestone XProtect Essential video management software.

With these crane-mounted cameras, researchers are able to closely monitor the birds without disturbing them. Observers can also isolate video segments, capture still images of the ospreys and easily export and share the information. The easy-to-use VMS interface allows research fellows with no prior VMS experience to quickly download and monitor the osprey video from various remote research facilities.

“Previously, our researchers had no reliable way of monitoring these birds,” said Nigel Sim, Application Development Manager at CoastalCOMS. “We thought about a GoPro camera, but it was too inconvenient to constantly shift the camera angles and send people up to collect the video. With Milestone, we have every setting and feature we could want at our fingertips - remotely. It’s an incredibly powerful monitoring tool.”

JCU’s Daintree Rainforest Observatory is one of only five long-term ecological monitoring sites in Australia. There are two laboratories onsite, one open-air teaching lab and one traditional, air-conditioned laboratory equipped to support the basic needs of most rainforest research.

Chris Lane, General Manager for CoastalCOMS, says that the day after the cameras were installed, the ospreys began to investigate their new neighbor and the result was stunning.

“The birds were curious from the start,” said Lane. “They would fly right up to the camera and poke their heads around it. Nigel and I happened to be at the observatory one day, and one of the people monitoring the camera excitedly called us into the control room. The Milestone VMS had recorded the osprey looking right into the lens! Nigel archived a two-minute clip of her flying up into the nest and back down, and we isolated single frames from the VMS. There’s an incredible shot of her looking out at the entire rainforest. It’s one of the best shots we’ve ever captured.”

Additionally, Lane says that research fellows are encouraged to download Milestone Mobile on their phones and tablets andare provided with logins to view the cameras and extract imagery.

“It’s been a big success,” said Sim. “We have a steady stream of happy research fellows using Milestone for various projects. They pick it up really quickly.”

Lane is excited to share an “Osprey Cam” with the public in the near future, featuring the two ospreys bringing up their young in the nest.

“My hope is that in 12-18 months, satellite connections will improve to the point where we can stream the camera live to the public, so they can get as excited as we are about it,” said Lane. “We may even be able to show a live hatch.”

Download photos of the Milestone installation at Daintree Rainforest.

For more information please see http://www.coastalcoms.com/ and https://research.jcu.edu.au/dro.

Read a case study about the use of Milestone software at Daintree Rainforest.


About Milestone Systems
Milestone Systems is a global industry leader in open platform IP video management software, founded in 1998 and now operating as a stand-alone company in the Canon Group. Milestone technology is easy to manage, reliable and proven in thousands of customer installations, providing flexible choices in network hardware and integrations with other systems. Sold through partners in more than 100 countries, Milestone solutions help organizations to manage risks, protect people and assets, optimize processes and reduce costs. For more information, see: www.milestonesys.com. For news and viewpoints from the Milestone universe, visit The Milestone Post.   


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