Starset Society 中文镜像站

TSS独家:事件视界:科技能帮助减缓或拯救下一次大规模灭绝的动物吗?

TSS EXCLUSIVE – Event Horizon: Can Technology Help Slow Down or Save Animals from the Next Mass Extinction?

by Karma Lei Angelo

Danger zone
危险区域

A group of conservationists have purchase another massive amount of land in South America. This purchase is added to the Amazonian Protection Zone (APZ), a growing swath of rainforest these individuals are hoping to save. 

一群自然资源保护主义者在南美洲又购买了大量土地。它们将被添加到亚马逊河保护区(APZ),一个不断增长的、这些人希望拯救的热带雨林。

They deploy a series of aviary drone-bots to cover the newly acquired land mass. The robots will set up remote sensors along a predetermined grid and connect with the already established grids in the existing zone. These sensors will monitor and track thermal patterns, document acoustical changes in the area, and capture 360-degree images of plant, animal, and insect activity.  

他们部署了一系列无人机机器人来覆盖新获得的土地。这些机器人将沿着预定的网格设置遥感器,并与现有区域中已经建立的网格连接。这些传感器将监测和跟踪热模式,记录该区域的声学变化,并捕捉植物、动物和昆虫活动的360度图像。

Using artificial intelligence software, the conservationists will be able to monitor and track an individual animal’s moments through fur pattern and facial recognition software, determine changes in the animal’s activity due to territorial threats, and predict migratory patterns and feeding ground locations. The software will also be able to detect any illegal human activity—all this while leaving the rainforest untouched by any other human interference. The AI will be able to monitor every animal and plant around the clock, all year long.

利用人工智能软件,自然资源保护者将能够通过毛皮图案和面部识别软件来监测和跟踪单个动物的瞬间,确定由于领土威胁而导致的动物活动的变化,并预测迁徙模式和觅食地位置。该软件还可以在不施加其它人为干扰的情况下监测任何非法的人类活动,它将能够全年24小时监控每一种动植物。

While the drones are being deployed from the monitoring station, a proximity sound buzzes and pops up on the computer. The AI alerts the scientists to some unusual activity on the eastern established edge of the APZ. A few clicks later, and they see poachers enter and capture an endangered jaguar. Within minutes, the conservationists have alerted local authorities and within the hour the poachers are apprehended. The jaguar is returned to its habitat. 

当无人机从监控站展开时,电脑上响起了蜂鸣声。人工智能提醒科学家们,在APZ的东部边缘有一些不寻常的活动。几下鼠标后,他们看到偷猎者进入并捕获了一只濒危的美洲豹。几分钟之内,自然资源保护者已经通知了当地政府,一小时之内偷猎者就被逮捕了。美洲豹回到了它的栖息地。

Is this the future for conservationism? Can measures such as this help slow down or even stop certain animals from going extinct? Is technology the answer?

这是环保主义的未来吗?这样的措施能帮助减缓甚至阻止某些动物灭绝吗?技术是答案吗?

A brief history of the future
未来简史

With only a few weeks into the new decade, trending news articles are bleak:
在新十年刚刚过去的几周里,时下的新闻文章都很黯淡:

– 1 BILLION animals feared dead in Australia’s massive brush fires.
—10亿只动物在澳大利亚的森林大火中死亡。

–  Many more species, such as the Northern White Rhino, are now extinct as of 2019 due to manmade habitat loss, changes in climate, and illegal poaching.
– 由于人为栖息地丧失、气候变化和非法偷猎,更多物种,如北白犀牛,到2019年已经灭绝。

– Manmade fires, deforestation—and to some degree, politics—have taxed the Amazon rainforest in South America.
– 人为的火灾,森林砍伐,以及某种程度上的政治,都给南美洲的亚马逊雨林带来了负担。

– Weather records are being broken every single day around the globe, forcing some small carnivores further north into Canada to find more sustainable habitats as climates continue to change.
– 全球各地的天气记录每天都在被打破,随着气候的不断变化,一些小食肉动物被迫向北进入加拿大寻找更可持续的栖息地。

– A three-year global bleaching event from 2014-2017, caused by excessive ocean warming, critically stressed more than 75% of the world’s coral reefs.
– 2014-2017年,一场为期三年的全球白化事件,由过度的海洋变暖引起,严重影响了全球75%以上的珊瑚礁。

Even bleaker are the multiple reports, studies, and news articles of a sixth mass extinction currently underway. This Holocene, or Anthropocene, event is significantly contributed to by modern human activity: overpopulation, destruction of natural resources, overfarming, fossil fuel consumptions, overfishing, pollution neglect, longer life expectancies—the list goes on.

更黯淡的是关于目前正在进行的第六次大灭绝的多份报告、研究和新闻文章。这个全新世,或者说人类世,是现代人类活动的重要原因:人口过剩,自然资源破坏,过度耕作,化石燃料消耗,过度捕捞,污染忽视,预期寿命延长等等。

If the United Nations does succeed in having countries set aside 30% of their lands and seas for conservation by 2030, would waiting another decade still push certain species beyond the extinction-inevitable threshold? What, then, can humans do to possibly stop, reverse, or slow down an apocalyptical mass extinction?

如果联合国真的成功地让各国在2030年前预留出30%的土地和海洋进行保护,那么再等10年,是否还会使某些物种超过灭绝不可避免的门槛?那么,人类能做些什么来阻止、逆转或减缓世界末日的大灭绝呢?

How can technology help?

技术能帮上哪些忙?

Bank deposits
银行存款

One potential solution with animal conservation and protection is through biobanking.

动物保护和保护的一个潜在解决方案是通过生物银行。

In the winter of 2008, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault began accepting deposits and seed sample in the hopes of protecting and preserving the “gene diversity of major food crops”. Currently, there are nearly 1.5 million seeds within the facility, with the ability to hold 3 million more. Should weather patterns or other natural events wipe out regional crops and food supplies, seed banks will be able to replenish certain foods.

2008年冬天,斯瓦尔巴特全球种子库开始接受沉积物和种子样本,希望保护和保存“主要粮食作物的基因多样性”。目前,该设施内有近150万粒种子,还有能力容纳300万粒种子。如果天气模式或其他自然事件摧毁了地区农作物和粮食供应,种子库将能够补充某些食物。

Similar to this reservoir for flora, there are several DNA banks for fauna. The largest of these banks, the Frozen Zoo located in California, has more than 13,000 samples of semen, blood samples, oocytes, and embryos for more than 7,000 endangered and threatened species.

类似于这个植物群的储存库,动物群有几个DNA库。其中最大的银行,位于加利福尼亚州的冷冻动物园,有超过13000份精液、血液样本、卵母细胞和胚胎样本,它们是7000多种濒危和受威胁物种的样本。

However, unlike dry seeds, storing DNA samples is more difficult. Due to ice crystals degrading animal cells, cryoprotectant fluids must be used to protect the cellular structures and molecules of the samples. This can not only become costly over time, thawing procedures can become challenging. And, as animal populations decrease, gene pool diversity decreases. Inbreeding and deformities can and do result.

然而,与干种子不同,储存DNA样本更困难。由于冰晶降解动物细胞,必须使用低温保护液来保护样品的细胞结构和分子。这不仅会随着时间的推移变得昂贵,解冻程序也会变得具有挑战性。而且,随着动物数量的减少,基因库的多样性也随之降低。近亲繁殖和畸形将不可避免。

One solution to the decreasing diversity within a species is through gene therapy. Advances in CRISPR-based tools allow scientists to finally edit and manipulate DNA. It is now possible to change the color of a butterfly’s wingadd drugs through chicken eggs, and sterilize farm-raised salmon to avoid potential breeding hazards with wild salmon.

一种解决物种多样性下降的方法是通过基因治疗。基于CRISPR的工具的进步使科学家最终能够编辑和操纵DNA。现在可以改变蝴蝶翅膀的颜色,通过鸡蛋添加药物,对农场饲养的鲑鱼进行消毒,以避免野生鲑鱼的潜在繁殖危害。

With new CRISPR-Cas9 technology, scientists can now do these procedures in half the time as a decade prior, cheaper than ever before, and more accurately than previous DNA-editing techniques. It is likely, with the help of CRISPR-Cas9, DNA banks can now successfully save many at-risk species or eliminate any potential birth defects from such a shrinking gene pool.  

有了新的CRISPR-Cas9技术,科学家现在可以用十年前的一半时间完成这些程序,比以前任何时候都便宜,而且比以前的DNA编辑技术更精确。在CRISPR-Cas9的帮助下,DNA库现在有可能成功地拯救许多有风险的物种,或者从如此萎缩的基因库中消除任何潜在的出生缺陷。

Sound checks
噪声检测

Another potential way technology can help with animal conservation and protection is to monitor and eliminate man-made noise in protected wildlife areas. Noises from “development activities, traffic and the extraction of natural resources” threaten plant and animal species across the world. Researchers examined noise pollution in several locations and determined that “63% of the protected areas were twice as loud as they should be.”

另一种有助于动物保护和保护的潜在方法是监测和消除野生动物保护区的人为噪音。来自“开发活动、交通和自然资源开采”的噪音威胁着世界各地的动植物物种。研究人员对几个地方的噪音污染进行了调查,结果发现“63%的保护区的噪音是应有的两倍。”

Why is sound important? It can affect how birds find mates and reproduce, how bats or dolphins hunt for prey, how other marine invertebrates display anti-predator behavior, and how mammals assert their dominance. Noise pollution is changing the behaviors in animals and directly impacting populations.

为什么听起来很重要?声音可以影响鸟类如何寻找配偶和繁殖,蝙蝠或海豚如何捕猎猎物,其他海洋无脊椎动物如何表现出反捕食者行为,以及哺乳动物如何维护自己的统治地位。噪声污染正在改变动物的行为,并直接影响种群。

Conservationists have created sound libraries from animals around the world, including bear roars, blue whale songs, bird chirps, and primate calls. One such location called the Macaulay Library houses more than 150,000 recordings of over 9,000 species.

自然资源保护者已经从世界各地的动物中建立了声音库,包括熊吼声、蓝鲸的歌声、鸟的唧唧声和灵长类动物的叫声。其中一个叫做麦考利图书馆的地方收藏了超过15万份9000多种物种的记录。

By using artificial intelligence, scientists can now take sound libraries and compare them with data collected in the wild. Algorithms can document when birds arrive to breeding grounds and determine if their territorial ranges have been altered due to warming climates. “Acoustic monitoring methods” are also helping to track and identify the African forest elephant, an endangered species. Sensors currently monitor nearly 1,250 square kilometers (roughly 485 square miles) of African forest to track where the elephants roam.

通过使用人工智能,科学家现在可以获取声音库并与野外采集的数据进行比较。算法可以记录鸟类何时到达繁殖地,并确定它们的领地范围是否因气候变暖而改变。“声学监测方法”也有助于追踪和识别濒危物种非洲森林象。传感器目前监控着近1250平方公里(约485平方英里)的非洲森林,以追踪大象在哪里漫游。

Conservationists can also use audio sensors to listen for human activity such as chainsaw activity, illegal logging, and gunfire in real-time. They can track poachers by creating a system to predict potential trafficking locations and remove traps set to kill or capture any animals.

自然资源保护者还可以使用音频传感器实时监听人类活动,如电锯活动、非法伐木和枪声。他们可以通过建立一个系统来追踪偷猎者,从而预测潜在的贩运地点,并移除用来杀死或捕捉任何动物的陷阱。

Covert protection
隐蔽保护

A third potential way technology could help is by offering advanced protection through GPS tracking, satellite imagery, and drone surveillance.

第三种可能的帮助方式是通过GPS跟踪、卫星图像和无人机监视提供高级保护。

GPS trackers on wildlife is becoming increasingly popular as a reliable way to document animal migratory patterns. AI algorithms are capable of learning and predicting where animals will return or migrate to, thus providing a better way to conserve habitats. Data collected can also be used to measure animal behavior, community interactions with other tagged animals, and the habitat surroundings where animals live, breed, and mate.

作为记录动物迁徙模式的可靠方法,野生动物的GPS跟踪器正变得越来越受欢迎。人工智能算法能够学习和预测动物将返回或迁移到哪里,从而为保护栖息地提供了更好的方法。收集到的数据还可用于测量动物行为、与其他标记动物的社区互动以及动物生活、繁殖和交配的栖息地环境。

Satellite imagery can also provide AI technology with historical land use data and predict areas of potential deforestation and mass bleaching events of coral reefs. Most data collected from high-resolution satellites is free for use. Scientists can use lidar to measure heights and structures of forests and estimate annual differences in areas. Satellite imagery can also be used to track marine and terrestrial wildlife populations by documenting growth or decay patterns in herds and flocks.

卫星图像还可以为人工智能技术提供历史土地利用数据,并预测可能出现的滥伐和珊瑚礁大规模漂白事件的地区。从高分辨率卫星收集的大多数数据都是免费使用的。科学家可以使用激光雷达测量森林的高度和结构,并估计地区的年差异。卫星图像还可以通过记录牛群和羊群的生长或衰退模式来跟踪海洋和陆地野生动物的数量。

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide scientists with never-before seen images of bird habitats and behaviors. Driver-controlled drones are slowly being replaced with autonomous ones which can maneuver easier, grasp things in midair, and even perch in trees. These drones can pick out heat signatures and distingue them as unique as fingerprints.

无人机(UAV)为科学家提供了从未见过的鸟类栖息地和行为图像。驾驶员控制的无人机正慢慢被自动驾驶的无人机所取代,它可以更容易地操纵,在半空中抓住东西,甚至可以栖息在树上。这些无人机可以识别出热信号,并像识别指纹一样识别他们。

Spreading the Message
信息传播

Perhaps one of the best ways technology can help is simply by making people aware and self-conscious through social media.

也许技术能提供帮助的最好方法之一就是通过社交媒体让人们意识到这件事。

Some celebrities such as Wang Junkai, one of China’s most famous pop stars, share their public outreach efforts through social media. Junkai has more than 70 million followers on Weibo and uses the platform to reach Chinese youths about environmental issues, including wildlife protection.

一些名人,如中国最著名的流行歌星之一王俊凯,通过社交媒体分享他们的公众宣传活动。王俊凯在微博上有超过7000万的粉丝,并利用这个平台向中国年轻人宣传环境问题,包括野生动物保护。

And while social media has given rise to anti-science activists on topics such as vaccines and the shape of the planet, legitimate information can reach netizens quicker. Government websites provide many data sets for free. Science sites and environmental organizations share the latest research breakthroughs or conservation efforts. Hashtags can easily connect users to similar matters or concerns.

虽然社交媒体在疫苗和地球形状等话题上催生了反科学活动家,但合法信息可以更快地到达网民手中。政府网站免费提供许多数据集。科学网站和环境组织分享最新的研究突破或保护工作。Hashtags可以很容易地将用户与类似的事情或关注点联系起来。

Perhaps the best way to combat the next mass extinction is through simply educating the public. Perhaps with an increase in individual awareness and more pro-activity from collective organizations, the world will see a decline—or better, a reversal—in the rate of destroyed habitats and a resurgence in wildlife populations again.

也许对付下一次大灭绝的最好办法就是教育公众。也许随着个人意识的提高和集体组织的更积极的活动,世界将会看到环境破坏趋势的放缓甚至反转,栖息地被破坏的速度会逆转,野生动物种群再次复苏。

翻译:STARSET Mirror翻译组

STARSET_Mirror

评论