KPN LoRa monitors bird and bat boxes

  • July 28, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Dutch engineering company Arcadis and mobile telco KPN have joined forces to develop a service that means protected animal species in the Netherlands can be monitored via the IoT.

Many house-building and renovation projects are being delayed because the handling of protected animal species is not properly safeguarded. This innovation with a smart sensor makes it possible to accelerate construction and renovation plans.

The sensors in the nesting boxes measure all movements in the bird and bat boxes 24 hours a day. They are connected to KPN’s nationwide LoRa network, which is designed to exchange small amounts of data between objects and systems. All data can be read online via a specially developed dashboard.

The major advantage of working with this smart technology lies mainly in the statutory monitoring obligation. The Nature Conservation Act requires that measures must be taken before the start of such a renovation to protect the established animal species. And so ecologists spend years in the field inspecting whether the measures also have an effect.

The smart sensor not only takes over almost all this fieldwork, but vast amounts of data are also released because the sensor measures the movements in the bird and bat boxes round the clock. These data can be used to make product improvements, such as an improved design or orientation of the boxes. Furthermore, among other applications, populations can be mapped on a larger scale.

The first sensors have been installed. This will be expanded to about 100 units in the coming weeks and the intention is to roll out this service throughout the Netherlands.