My name is Luciano Foglia. I'm working on a project in Central Asia where we need to provide internet access to an area of a mountain range with very extreme conditions.
Our reserve is located in the Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan. In the Issyk-Kul region, and with an area of 14 thousand hectares and mountain peaks reaching 4763 meters of altitude. Our public micro-reserve is a refuge for many endangered species included in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
At the moment we have 6 camera traps that we are happy with and are working fine. The problem is that they are installed in places of difficult access and it becomes a very risky mission for the team to go change the batteries and SD cards. Also for this reason we cannot add more cameras to the reserve for now. With these cameras we have captured incredible footage of 7 snow leopards. And some are never seen before video footage of such nature. Truly amazing material that soon will go online and I will be happy to share with you.
I am working on getting the network extended to some spots of the mountain by repeaters 4G. We need to provide internet access to the mountains to be able to receive the camera footage from the camera traps that are monitoring the wildlife. The cameras are also an important instrument to capture poachers in the area.
So far I could not find something that will serve us the way we want it. To minimize the risk of every mission every two months (specially in winter) just for some battery and SD maintenance. We need to find a camera trap technology that can do the following:
- Run on solar panels.
- Send the data (video needed) to the network via 4G.
- Be weather resistance to be able to withstand the harsh weather conditions in these environments. Average temperatures in winter are -20 to -40. Do vary massively with altitude.
Ideally a already existing commercial product that can do this would be of great help. But I also consider the possibility of modifyng something already existing, adapt, tune, etc.
So now my questions:
- Do you know of a out of the box camera trap model or technology that could suit this project?
- Can you recommend me (from your experience) what are the best camera traps out there for poaching.
- Can you recommend me (from your experience) what are the best camera traps out there for high quality video capture.
Also, we are looking for a technical partner to plan the installation of the antennas in the reserve. So if you know or have experience from other projects and know a company that could collaborate with us and want to be part of an incredible project please let me know.
For being one of the first initiatives in Kyrgyzstan to create micro reserves run by the community. We play an important role in setting the standards in micro-reserves conservation in the region and in the snow leopard range in Central Asia.
Since much of the core snow leopard habitat in this landscape is affected by some level of human impact, the success of this project represents a success in conservation strategies that involve local people at the heart of the project.
Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
16 December 2022 9:42pm
Hi Luciano! Sounds like an interesting project.
Nathaniel Rindlaub from the nature conservancy gave a talk on Wildlabs a few months ago about their camera system on Santa Cruz Island. It is similar to what you are trying to do.
They mainly used meshed radio cameras that transmitted to a cellular base station. The cameras they used are from BuckEye.
I haven't used their products personally but know they use Digi xbee modems for wireless communication which I do have experience with and really like.
Hope that helps!