Mapping “Dark Corridors” for Bats in Brussels

Local Chapter Brussels, Belgium

Coordinated byBelgium ,

Status: Completed

Project Duration: 15 Jan 2023 - 19 Feb 2023

Open Source resources available from this project

Project background.

Animals in general are facing an unprecedented wave of extinction. Bats are especially impacted by the changes brought by humans. The causes for this collapse are multiple, but one of them is the light pollution.

Lights are modifying bats environments. Insects are attracted to light, which gives some bats an interesting point to feed, but it also present numerous challenges for them :

– Predators relying on light and day predators are able to catch them
– Light disturbs their habits, leading them to miss their optimal feeding time

Some species might avoid light altogether, leading to a fragmented habitat, disturbed feeding routes and more vulnerables populations

In recent years, more and more initiatives have been launched to reduce light pollution in Brussels, to preserve bats (and other animals) communities.

The problem.

The goal of this project is to create a map of lightning pollution in Brussels, to find the areas where light pollution has been effectively tackled and areas where improvement are dues.

An addition would be to add on the map the feeding point of bats, and to look for “dark corridors”, i.e. non-lightened area giving the possibility for bats to move from one point to another.

The project results will be made open source. Data should be available to NGOs working in species conservation, public institutions looking to improve their neighbourhood and concerned citiern looking for more information.

Project goals.

- Build a map of the light pollution and “Dark corridors in Brussels, that could be applied to other cities. - GitHub Repo with open source code - Curated dataset hosted in AWS or Google for open access

Project plan.

  • Week 1

    Data collection :
    – Nighttime image of Brussels
    – Observation points of bats and/or map where water is available

  • Week 2

    Data cleaning and preparation

  • Week 3

    Find dark corridors present in Brussels

  • Week 4

    Test model

  • Week 5

    Optional : Find feeding patterns of bats based on observation and water

  • Week 6

    Build a model of potential now ecological corridors

  • Week 7

    Write a report and test the models

Learning outcomes.

– Collect satellite images and extract relevant features.
– Collect tabular data with geographical data and map them on satellite images.
– Build a machine-learning project with geographical and satellite data.

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