IPB University Expert Explains the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Controlling Wild Buffalo in Australia
IPB University Ecological Genetics Expert, Prof Ronny Rachman Noor, said that in the Asian region, buffalo are a type of meat-producing livestock so they are cultivated, but unfortunately, currently the world’s buffalo population is decreasing, one of which is due to agricultural mechanization. Besides that, buffalo have unique reproductive characteristics, namely silent heat or lust that is not visible, thus hampering the success of artificial insemination in buffalo.
In history, Australia once received donations of buffalo from Bogor, now the buffalo population is growing very quickly in the wild, especially in the northern region of Australia. These wild buffalo herds often become a big problem due to the environmental damage they cause.
“Buffalo populations in Australia generally occupy remote areas that are difficult to reach, because monitoring of wild buffalo populations is carried out by indigenous Australians. “One of the largest wild buffalo population areas in Australia is the Arnhem Northern Territory and the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland, where the population is estimated to be more than 200 thousand,” explained Prof Ronny.
He continued, that this condition prompted the Australian Research Institute CSIRO and the government to create a program called Space Cows to monitor wild buffalo populations by utilizing a combination of satellite technology, artificial intelligence, and local knowledge.
“The use of artificial intelligence technology is needed to predict future population developments and also the distribution and movement of wild buffalo,” he said.
According to the Professor at the Faculty of Animal Science, IPB University, the monitoring program is not easy to carry out because apart from the large area that must be covered, it is also due to the remoteness of the area and the large population that must be monitored.
“As an illustration of the scale of this monitoring pilot project, the area that must be monitored reaches 22 thousand kilometers in remote areas in Northern Australia and requires capturing 1,000 wild buffalo and cattle to be numbered and fitted with tracking devices,” he said.
According to Prof Ronny, this pilot project must use special vehicles and helicopters to collect wild buffalo and install Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices before releasing them again. With this pilot project, the Australian government can observe the movement and development of the wild buffalo population to control and control the population.
“Understanding the breeding and movement of wild buffalo is very vital to prevent population explosion and invasion of wild buffalo into livestock areas,” he said
This large population of wild buffalo has turned into a pest because it invades areas that have water sources, thereby affecting the availability of water and also the availability of wild grass feed for commercial livestock.
He explained that Australia, which has a very large territory, is currently facing the problem of wild buffalo, it is also facing the problem of wild cows, wild pigs, and wild rabbits which have a huge impact on Australian livestock which has been the mainstay of foreign exchange earnings.
“Therefore, controlling the wild buffalo population by utilizing the latest technology is expected to be the key to controlling the population so that it can be controlled and does not cause harm and cause land degradation,” said Prof Ronny. (*/Lp) (IAAS/Res)