Watch on Nature

Watch on Nature

Your eye in the sky to protect the places we love

Watch on Nature is the Wilderness Society’s new community-powered app that will help monitor deforestation across Australia—and put a stop to the deforestation crisis.

Track deforestation in near real time using the latest satellite imagery.

The web-based app will enable communities, groups and individuals all over the continent to show the horrific reality of deforestation. It will help expose deforestation as it happens and help hold vested interests to account—so we can protect the forests we have left for the future. (Main image top: Cape York, Kerry Trapnell.)

What is Watch on Nature?

Watch on Nature is a website application that assists with deforestation detection and monitoring vegetation across Australia. It is currently in a closed test that is running until December to iron out any bugs and issues.

The Watch on Nature website has a user-friendly interface that displays Sentinel-2 satellite imagery from various dates. In-built tools enable you to detect changes in vegetation cover. It can then send the Wilderness Society an alert of potential clearing (or other change) that you find.

Use Watch on Wilderness to see near real-time deforestation and land-clearing events, map them and alert the Wilderness Society.

There is also computer-automated vegetation change detection built into Watch on Nature that will be further developed to send alerts to the Wilderness Society if clearing is detected in any of the focus zones. Focus zones are areas of concern that the Wilderness Society is monitoring with the help of the community and Watch on Nature, and include Queensland's forest and bushland, WA's Northern Jarrah Forests, Victoria's tall forests and Tasmania's forests.

Watch on Nature will assist in monitoring deforestation across Australia, land-clearing compliance and provide a training database of detected clearing events in Australia to further refine the auto-detection tools.

People power

Geospatial Analyst, Rachel Fletcher.

Wilderness Society scientist Rachel Fletcher is determined to keep Australia’s remaining forests safe. The sheer vastness of this continent and the remoteness of some of its most special places means it's very hard to keep a tab on the health of forests and bushlands without satellite imagery.

Rachel uses satellite mapping to track and report on the loss of forests and bushland across the continent. She helped develop the cutting-edge technology behind Watch on Nature that will expose rampant deforestation by the beef, paper, timber and mining industries.

Watch on Nature gives groups in regional areas, remote First Nations communities, ranger groups and citizen science organisations the ability to access data on the extent of forest and bushland clearing, or fire extent, in near real-time.

“When you see the massive scale of years of deforestation from space, it is really confronting. More people need to see what’s happening. That’s why we’ve developed a citizen scientist platform that helps us keep an eye on what’s happening to forests in real time. And it gives supporters and communities the tools to monitor deforestation.”—Geospatial Analyst, Rachel Fletcher.

Why we need a Watch on Nature

Help tackle deforestation in problem areas outlined by the Wilderness Society in Watch on Nature, and learn about the species being affected.
The Wilderness Society is committed to ending deforestation and securing landscape restoration to protect biodiversity and carbon stores in Australia. The continent has some of the highest rates of land clearing and deforestation in the world—making it a deforestation hotspot alongside places like the Amazon and Borneo.

The forests and bushlands of this country are home to globally significant and unique species. But each day, thousands of hectares are bulldozed. Nearly half of Australia's forest cover has been cleared in the last 200 years—killing tens of millions of native animals (including threatened species) that call these places home.

The Wilderness Society needs the ability to monitor deforestation hotspots around Australia—Watch on Nature will let campaigners know where clearing is taking place and to what scale; this will help them raise the alarm about the issue and pressure decision-makers to act.

Senior campaigner Gemma Plesman reveals the scale of the deforestation problem in Australia:

Donate today!

Help grow our game-changing satellite technology to track and report on the destruction of forests and bushland across the continent. It will expose deforestation as it happens, so together we can hold the culprits to account and protect the forests we have left.