RSPB turns to SAS® analytics for bird protection and conservation
SAS uncovers vital information for conservation and resolving urgent environmental problems
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the UK's largest nature conservation charity, has chosen big data analytics solutions by SAS, the global leader in business analytics, to help save endangered wildlife and conserve their habitats in the UK and across the world.
With many bird species under threat, the RSPB relies heavily on scientific research and data analysis to help them take the right action to protect birds and other wildlife in their natural habitats. Researchers regularly conduct diagnostic studies to understand the causes of decline and test different conversation methods to find the most effective actions for different species. As a result, RSPB has a large and growing number of data sets, which require careful analysis and interpretation if the conservation problems are to be clearly understood. However, much of the analysis was manual and to do more complex analysis the approach was not operationally effective.
RSPB implemented SAS' advanced analytics solutions to develop evidence-based conservation programmes and advance environmental policies in the UK and abroad. Programmes underpinned by SAS have included tackling problems faced by skylarks and yellowhammers breeding on UK farmland, merging data on nesting success with information on agricultural cropping patterns and pesticide usage. RSPB has also used SAS to analyse foraging habits of albatrosses across the Southern Ocean to minimise death rates.
"We need to make sense of a variety of large and complex data sets. For example, tracking the movements of kittiwakes and gannets as they forage at sea produces millions of data points," said Dr. Will Peach, Head of Research Delivery at RSPB. "Conservation informed by statistical evidence is always more likely to succeed than that based solely on guesswork or anecdote. SAS allows us to explore the data to provide the evidence needed to confidently implement our initiatives."
Andy Cutler, Director of Strategy at SAS UK & Ireland, commented: "Scientific research is extremely fast-moving and there are now huge volumes of data to analyse. SAS is able to provide a means of managing all the data and then apply cutting-edge analytical techniques that deliver valuable insights almost immediately. For example, through analysing previously non-informative data, RSPB is now able to intervene and correct the breeding problems faced by various bird species during treacherous migration journeys."
For more details, please read the full case study.
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The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.