US: In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, DigitalGlobe has activated its Tomnod crowdsourcing platform to help preserve Hawaii’s native forests. Invasive weeds, such as the Australian Tree Fern and African tulip tree, are aggressively spreading throughout Hawaii’s high-elevation rainforests. In fact, invasive species have contributed to the destruction of more than 50% of Hawaii’s native forests, according to The Nature Conservancy.
This project uses Conservancy-provided high resolution aerial photography of Kauai’s remote rainforests. By pinpointing the location of each weed, the Conservancy will be able to focus its efforts on each one, and identify the leading edge of the weeds’ spread. Targeting weeds in the regions of the forest where they are most prevalent will slow further spread and push back that leading edge, protecting the 27 percent of native forest that remains on Kauai. Although this project currently focuses on just 3,000 acres of the forest area, if successful, the Conservancy has thousands more acres — and images — that it wants people to analyse.