December 15, 2015
Quebrada Blanca Operations implements new monitoring technologies to help protect local ecosystems.
Teck’s biodiversity vision is to achieve a net positive impact on biodiversity by maintaining or re-establishing self-sustaining landscapes and ecosystems that lead to viable long-term and diverse land uses in the areas in which we operate. In 2014, Quebrada Blanca Operations implemented two new systems to support this goal, utilizing new environmental monitoring camera technology.
Capturing Chlorophyll Colours
“Until a short time ago, due to this region’s rugged topography, it was challenging to produce detailed reports of the plant species,” explains Anibal Fernandez, Superintendent, Environment, Quebrada Blanca. “Visual identification of the vegetation in small sample areas known as parcels was then extrapolated across a larger area, a method that yielded results which were sometimes inaccurate.”
To improve the understanding of the region’s plant species, a new type of special camera was implemented which records images in wavelengths using hyperspectral sensors, producing detailed aerial photographs that capture Quebrada Blanca Operations implements new monitoring technologies to help protect local ecosystems. more colours than visible to the human eye. These intense colors are indicative of the level of chlorophyll found in the plants, allowing for highly accurate species identification. These cameras are also mounted on drones, enabling them to cover extensive areas of rough terrain which were previously difficult or impossible to reach.
Wildlife in Real Time
The second piece of new camera technology implemented at QB uses movement-activated sensors to capture photographs of the wildlife, both day and night, revealing the presence and behaviours of diverse species such as pumas, foxes, birds and amphibians.
“Combined, these new monitoring tools provide our team with valuable information that build a complete picture of the local environment, enabling us to focus our efforts and better conserve these ecosystems,” says Anibal.