Environmental Measurements Services

Petrel (‘U‘au) Monitoring

KCE designs, builds, and deploys environmental monitoring systems. For example, with National Science  Foundation (NSF) funding, we have designed a monitoring and recording system to observe and record the daily activities of the endangered Dark-rumped petrels ('ua'u) near the summit of Haleakala. These birds nest in burrows on the steep slopes around the summit area.

Human activity associated with astronomical facilities may impact 'ua'u fledgling success and activity near the burrows. To characterize 'ua'u activity, individual day/night cameras view about 30 active bird burrows in, and adjacent to, the 18.1 acres of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy High Altitude Observatory.

The cameras are motion-sensitive to record 'ua'u activity, which is defined by a number of actions, i.e., 'ua'u moving in or out of burrows, 'ua'u remaining in burrows, 'ua'u returning or not returning to burrows after being pushed out of nests, 'ua'u digging at burrows, 'ua'u defecating at burrows, etc.

An additional two cameras record daily human activities such as traffic, staff movement, equipment repairs, etc. Data from the camera sensors is stored on removable hard drives mounted on multi-channel DVR systems that record 'ua'u activities. Review of the data can help identify which, if any, human activities impact 'ua'u behavior.

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