Tracking changes in biodiversity in remote areas also requires to tracks changes in the environment. Non-intuitively, Antarctic regions are among the most impacted by global changes. Accessing these regions, gathering environmental data, and ensuring the density and continuity of these data is not without impact however, leaving ecology scientists facing a problem: what is the right trade-off between monitoring environments closely, and impacting these environments, and thus the sheltered biodiversity we seek to protect ?
One possible answer is to develop and deploy remote technology for environmental sensoring. Wireless technology now allows to deploy networks of sensors of various use, able to communicate data on regular schedule, and also to provide informations on the state of the sensor (batteries, amount of data stored, possible malfunctions). This bears the promise to potentially reduce our interventions in the field in some cases, while improving the quality of data, for a shared investment. The ZATA LTSER is currently investing into such deployment, planed on the 2021-2025 period. It will be progressively tested and duplicated on the subAntarctic territories of Kerguelen, St-Paul & Amsterdam and Crozet. It will also be tested in Antarctic territories. Several research programs of the LTSER are already listed to help in these tests (IPEV programs 119, 136, 137, 1116, 1044, see Research Programs). The data will be in fine accessible by the whole LTSER and beyond. The full WiSeNet proposal has been submitted to the French Polar Institute and will be evaluated this winter. It can be accessed here:
Meanwhile, we also obtained additional funding from the CNRS (MITI – Mission pour les initiatives transverses et interdisciplinaires), which will greatly help initiate the field tests for 2021-2022.