Client: The Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI)
Project Title: Accurate Wildlife Detection to Determine Absolute Abundance
The Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) partnered with NineSigma to identify new technologies for tracking hoofed mammals including moose, caribou, deer, and wood bison, as well as large predators such as wolves. These animals are an important part of the health and survival of the Alberta Boreal Forest's ecosystem. The goal of the program was to implement a wold-class approach to assuring environmental sustainability, social well-being and economic viability in this Canadian region, while still continuing to provide the world with oil for energy.
To find better solutions, OSLI engaged NineSigma to put out a Request for Proposal entitled Accurate Wildlife Detection to Determine Absolute Abundance. Selection criteria included strong scientific and technical merit, economic potential, little to no stress on animals, and cost effectiveness. Solutions were welcomed from diverse types of organizations - small to large companies, NGOs or governments, academic researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
NineSigma vetted entries together with OSLI, and the top four technologies were funded for testing. These winning solutions from the U.S. and Europe include improvements of current forward-looking Infrared technology, military technology, multi-spectral imaging, and unmanned aerial vehicles and drones. These four technologies do not involve methods currently used in the oil sands region.
"We are making great progress in our goals to improve accuracy, timeliness, and economic factors in mammal tracking by seeing these top technologies in action. These technologies could advance the management of industrial impacts on wildlife while enabling safer extraction and provisioning of oil as a viable global energy resource." - Will Hughesman, Nexen, Land Stewardship Working Group Chair for OSLI