Sediment Samples y Drone Shots Help us Understand “Estuaries of the Future”

September 24, 2019

Richard Johnston
Biologist / INVEMAR
Nariño, Colombia

Tidal flats are critical habitat for migratory shorebirds and coastal fisheries. In the project “Estuaries of the Future” we want to understand the resilience of tidal flats and their biodiversity against climate change effects. Our first step was to apply artificial intelligence to process hundreds of satellite images and create a dynamic map of the tidal flats in northern Nariño, Colombia. During our field surveys we collected drone images and soil samples to describe the diversity of sediments found in the mudflats. Also, local communities shared with us the information on the species of commercial and cultural interest that use this habitat. In the following months we will use this data to study the current and future distribution of shorebirds and other species of interest that reside in these inter-tidal zones.