From 2014 on, 2EI Veolia started developing an automatic biodiversity tracking service that it then tested in collaboration with the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan authority as part of the Ecocité program. The service is now able to accurately measure the health of an ecosystem, assess the impact of a new installation or the effectiveness of an environmental policy, in turn helping to guide biodiversity strategies.
Ecosystem health is gauged by observing populations of bats as these are excellent biodiversity bellwethers. Bats are highly sensitive to changes in their environment thanks to their long lifespans and their place at the top of the food chain. And each species has a unique call that makes identification easy. Veolia records and analyzes ultrasonic signals from a network of self-contained sensors used to track the numbers, diversity and behavior of species in a given area.
Automatic biodiversity monitoring, based on work carried out by the French Museum of Natural History, is now technically operational throughout Europe. This solution, known as VERBATIM, is starting to be rolled out in France, in Lille and the Paris region, for example. Work is under way to improve the accuracy of environmental assessments by extending the tool’s scope to include additional biological indicators such as grasshoppers, birds, and so on.
2EI Veolia is the Veolia unit dedicated to sustainable towns, cities and regions. It works with local actors from the public and private sectors to deliver solutions that are innovative and actionable.