discussion / AI for Conservation  / 28 October 2022

Help - Innovative ways to track elephant movement

Hi, I am working on a study to track wild elephant movement within an overlayed matrix of crop fields. We seek to understand how various landscape variables impact crop-raiding behavior and activity. 

However, figuring out how to track the elephants is proving difficult. 

- We cannot collar 

- We cannot fly drones 

- For ethical reasons, we cannot monitor in real-time without alerting farmers or rangers 

We have camera traps, but the area is large, and we want to recreate the elephant's path through crops as close as possible. Are there any sensors or devices I may be overlooking or unaware of? Thanks! 




Agreed, I was going to ask if you've looked into acoustic or also seismic sensors? E.g., I recently came across this paper using seismic sensors and a helpful little storymap overview of remote sensing tools for elephant monitoring, but I'm sure others here provide more insight. Also, @Alasdair / Arribada have worked on an elephant detection/early warning system using thermal sensors, not sure what the progress is but could be a helpful model on the real-time alert front!

Why would you want to avoid alerting the rangers ?

You don't need high tech for this; elephants leave very obvious tracks and sign.