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Header image: Laura Kloepper, Ph.D.


Open Source Photogrammetry Software

Hi All,I'm searching for an open sourced photogrammetry software to swap out Pix4D/Agisoft/DroneDeploy. I've seen mention of OpenDroneMap, but I've struggled with getting it...

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You might check out what's listed in the Directory - for example, DroneMapper, though this is paid (not sure if they'd give you any discount). The one I have heard most about is OpenDroneMap though. Or perhaps check out GeoNadir?  

Hi Lindy, ODM has a steep learning curve but is fantastic once you understand it. I have much better results than from commerical services, although we were just stitching fairly small (<10ha) areas.

Have a look at WebODM Lightning, this is a paid-for, but very cheap, processing service using ODM that is more similar to commercial services (upload your images, press go). You can upload using the web interface or a Windows app. 

Hi Lindy,

WebODM has now a native Windows installer version which costs around 147 $ once -

Is has almost all the advantages of the high priced softwares and even presets for some use cases.

Best regards!


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Field testing of a radio telemetry system to be deployed in the sea.

Hello everyoneWhat kind of tests do you put aquatic tags through to get them field ready? Currently, we are testing a radio telemetry system. We are leaving the tags at 20...

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Hi Hari,

A simple test we do is pump the unit up slightly (maybe 1 psi), and check for bubbles.  It's like fixing a flat on a bicycle.  The positive internal pressure opens up and exposes any questionable seals.  Most of the leakage problems tend to be of the shallow water variety, which this test finds.  Deep water leaks are more rare, since the pressure tends to close up any cracks.

Otherwise the SOP is to lightly grease all O-rings and seals, and assemble the unit in the lab to prevent sand etc. from sticking to the greasy O-rings.


Thanks Harold

Are O-rings the only defense against water leakage you have? We are potting all the electronic components inside our tags with resin, but water still finds its way into the electronics. We are thinking of incorporating o-rings in our next steps.

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Project introductions and updates

Tell us about your project!If you are just starting out with autonomous camera traps for insects, or if you are a seasoned expert, this is the place to share your...

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@jamiealison : OpenCV for image processing and PyTorch for classification

@tom_august : We'll work on accumulation curves this summer to compare different schedules/sampling approaches; we don't have enough data to answer your question yet. Regarding the camera we were using a RICOH WG-6 but the image quality is not good enough so we will replace it and are  looking for other options. Which one did you use? 

We have been using a 4k Logitek Biro web camera, which is in a housing with LEDs for illumination. We use this mainly out of legacy, and the image quality is good but we think we can do better. I have just bought pretty much the entire range of Raspberry Pi cameras to test out, I'll post the results here. I think we can have better control over the images with these cameras and they will be smaller too.
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What events are you looking forward to this year?

Hi everyone, It's my first day back in the office after a very welcome holiday break, and I'm so happy to be back! I'm taking stock of the year to come and am wondering what...

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I am looking forward to the SRI2023 conference ( link below )

If you're mostly busy getting your tech to work, it might be a bit out of your comfort zone.

However, if you're at the point of realizing that the local community, their neighbors, their ( local ) government,  companies with an interest, and many other actors all have some bearing on the tech that you are setting up, and all may have an interest in the data that you are capturing ... then this conference may be a place to start.

This is the third SRI conference, and, frankly, I have been to none of the previous for practical reasons, so I don't know exactly what to expect. Perhaps it is too high level for me, but I am looking forward to it.




It's pretty big for NGOs and I would say there is growing involvement from companies? But it's usually those with strong conservation partnerships. The bigger one is World Conservation Congress - but this is only every few years. We've put in a workshop aligned with our movement ecology work, will likely do some talks, and will be hosting side events (both networking and meetings). I'm hearing about quite a lot of other tech events/conversations being organised, so it should be a good place to connect with a good cross section of the conservation tech community.

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Commercially available connected audio sensors

Hi - can anyone advise if there is a commercially made passive audio recorder that can be powered by solar/battery and have 3g/4g connectivity - ideally with compression on the...

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I am not aware of any such connected loggers/recorders but they would be nice. 

The AudioMoths have been revolutionary in providing audologging at a low cost but they take a lot of "data muling" (carrying SD cards in and out of the field sites) and swapping of batteries.



Hi Lars, thanks for the response. We are using lots of Song Meter Micro's atm and they have proved to be resilient. Just need something which doesn't involve going on site regularly - but get the data off. 

Rainforest Connection's (RFCx) Guardian devices may be of interest. They are solar-powered and have connectivity options for Wifi, GSM and satellite transfer. They've previously been used for detecting e.g., gunshots or chainsaws (using edge computing) and then sending positive detections/alerts to folks on the ground. RFCx also hosts Arbimon, a free, no-code software platform that facilitates analysis of audio data as well. Happy to chat more if you'd like to talk further about it! 

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Telemetry and tracking Snakes

Telemetry and Tracking  SnakesHi everyone , am improving a project about spacial ecology on viper snakes of Lachesis genera. We dont know wich tecnology for tracking its more...

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Hi Huascar!

I have no experience with tracking snakes.

If I was you, I would start by having a look at a goggle scholar search like this:

Another place to ask for advice from experienced users would be to find some snake tracking researchers on 

Good luck!

Hi Huascar, how are you? there's limitations on snakes since their body form and behaviour, if you leave a VHF or GPS tag as an external fixation it will get tangled with roths and branches and it will fall, besides you have to suture and it can cause infections.

So far you only got implanted VHF transmitters, that's the most common, lonlasting and safe fixation method.

There's an alternative of using Tegaderm as a external fixation method but with ecdysis will eventually remove it.

any doubts please write me [email protected]

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Cleaning audiomoth circuit board

Hi everyone,unfortunatly I got quite a few audiomoth boards with different levels of water damage.I removed the battery holder and plan on cleaning the boards. Do you have any...

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I'd also add that if the boards are just dirty or dusty, you can just remove all batteries, then wash with a toothbrush and water. Air dry (or use compressed air which speeds things up greatly) and then spot clean areas that need solvent with isopropanol as Harold mentioned. Also if you don't have access to conformal coating, you can also use a non-conductive clear lacquer.  The conformal coating covers all the components and prevents short circuits due to conductive water (ie: salt water) or other contaminants. However if you do use a conformal coating, make sure all cables are connected first and the device is in the exact state that it will be deployed in. Also don't conformal coat the battery connectors since you'll want to change out batteries periodically.

Hi Akiba, 
thanks for your this great advice! I used the conformal coating on parts
of the PCB with exposed metal but was has hesitent using it on the "backside" with 
 all the resistors and transistors. Also what about the "back" of the microfon. Might this side be coated?
Do you have any experience with coatings @alex_rogers 



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Hydromoth settings

Hi Everyone,what is your #HydroMoth setup for freshwater ecoacoustic monitoring? What are your settings for...

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Hi Robin,

Did you ever get any responses to your query?  Just recovered a hydromoth I was testing for MPA monitoring, but all the files have no audio on them.  Was curious what others were doing underwater.




Hi Jacob, 
you are the first one but I have been talking to other scientist 
about their projects. Right now we are recording and hopefully automatically detecting Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) vocalisations.
Did you find out why your files were empty or was the sound level just too low?

Greetings from Austria,

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After reading about pseudoranges and quick fixes in this paper:and doing a bit of digging around for "pseudoranges", I stumbled upon the following paper:and script:It could seem...

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I really agree with you that this technique of using pseudorange positioning is  important in animal tracking, and if this technology is open source it will really boost the development of DIY tagging greatly. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you very much for finding these materials. I also tried to find similar techniques using pseudorange positioning a few months ago, but unfortunately I did not find so many papers and such creative works at that time. Your materials seemed to open it up for me. most sincere thanks!

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Suggestions for user research/co-design methodologies

Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone on here has an experience with user research or user testing for conservation technology 'products'? Please get in touch, I'd love to discuss...

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Rainforest Connection is currently in the process of UX/UI research for our audio data analysis platform, Arbimon. I'll forward this thread to our lead on this.

The folks at ConservationX might have some insights as well with testing of the NABIT and Sentinel. 


I'm the UX researcher at Rainforest Connection (RFCx). I use research methods such as interviews, usability testing, and card sorting to understand scientists' pain points and needs while using the bioacoustic monitoring platform, Arbimon. 

In terms of tools, I use Figjam for brainstorming and mapping, Notion for a research repository, Zoom for interviews, and Figma for prototyping. I'm exploring how to use ChatGPT to speed up my process too! I use it to draft recruitment emails, summarize transcripts etc. I try to use tools that are either low-cost or that RFCx already has subscriptions of. 

Since I'm a UX team of one, I also partner with University student groups/practicum courses to let UX students take on some of our projects. 

Feel free to reach out; I'm always happy to chat.



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Gender Equality in Conservation

Meet the women and men supporting gender equality in conservation #tech. Here is a panel discussion the Women in Conservation Tech (WiCT) led in November 2022, during the EarthRanger User Conference (ERUC). Opening up...

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Solar panels in the tropics

We are deploying automated systems in the topics and hope to use solar panels, but this closed canopy in most places I'm seeing this as a challenge.Past the obvious: 'find a...

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Hi Tom,

I'm with Akiba, you have to test.  A collaborator has deployed solar-augmented kit in secondary jungle and some of them got enough light, and others didn't, so it can work.  The open circuit voltage of solar panels doesn't change a whole lot in dim light, but the current drops drastically.  So you would choose an oversize panel of the same voltage (or a bit higher).


I've been intrigued by this topic. Thinking about ways you could use drones or some kind of launcher to deploy panels above the canopy. Sadly I live in the great white north so I have no way of testing any concepts. Maybe even some kind of solar balloon that could float above the canopy. Interesting design problem.

Hey Tom,
Since the output is dependent on a couple of factors such as the solar irradiance of the place, shading from the canopy, the type of solar panels (mono, poly or amorphous) and orientation of the panels, etc, I'd suggest you use a software to simulate the different parameters to get an almost accurate estimation of the output. You can try PVsyst- it has a free month trial (I haven't used it before but I hear it's great) or any other PV software :)

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Africa in Conservation Biology

Society for Conservation Biology just launched their "Africa in Conservation Biology" platform, designed to enhance the visibility of African and/or Africa-based conservation professionals.

Could be a great place to find funding, networking, and professional development opportunities!


Welcome to WILDLABS!

Hello and welcome to the WILDLABS community! With 6,000 members and counting, we want to get to know you a little better. In a couple of...

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Hey Lars! Love how active you are on here. AI/ML detection is next on our list! The tech is evolving so fast its hard to keep up but I am actively researching it. My cousin just did a project using computer vision for bison herd management. Very cool tech space.   

Hi Brett!

Thanks! Pure procrastination on my side. I find it a bit of a pity how quiet it can be here sometimes... 

The project you refer to sound super interesting. You should get your cousin to join Wildlabs and tell us about it. As part of my job, I am monitoring muskoxen at our research station in Greenland. Perhaps we could get some ideas! 

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camera with fast trigger- and recovery time?

Hello Camtrappers!Does anyone know a camera type, that is able to be triggered again immediately after the last trigger? I am talking about maybe one or two seconds, also three...

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Hi Lars, yes it is and the picture management software I use is also able to read the EXIF data with the correct time stamp. It is just unconvenient for our workfklow, to not be able to read the time stamp right away from the picture. But it is not really an invincible obstacle. 

@Stephanie as luck would have it, I recently released some firmware for Browning BTC-7E-HP5 and BTC-8E-HP5 cameras that contains a number of feature enhancements, including the oft-asked-for seconds-level resolution on the Date/Time in the image info strip.  See my recent blog posts on the topic, which incudes pointers for where to find the firmware images.  Links below  

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Reasonable price for drone pilot (south africa)?

Hi everyone, A colleague is looking for a cost check on going rates for drone pilots in South Africa. Is £500-£700 a day reasonable? They'd be flying drones in a project to...

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I am no expert, but I'd be curious about the answers. I mean if that is a reasonable amount, I am going to buy me one and change career. ;-)

Perhaps it is reasonable considering that the number of jobs they get throughout the year is low and I guess that training with official certificate is not cheap.

Another consideration : non-toy drones do not come cheap. If they bring their own and take the risk of loosing it.

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ChatGPT for conservation

Hi, I've been wondering what this community's thoughts are on ChatGPT? I was just having a play with it and asked:"could you write me a script in python that loads photos...

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I've been using it a bit for GIS and remote sensing. Automating code snippets and fixing errors.

Also used it for a few excel queries and some marketing related tasks.

What I'm so excited about is if it is this good now what's ai going to be like 10 years from now?

I really think 2023 is the year ai is going mainstream and people are going to have that 'aha so this is what it is all about moment'.

Great idea for a discussion Isobel. I was thinking also that it is likely to be a tool for good (rather than evil). 

I have no idea how to use it (was googling about it yesterday...), so any infom shared here within WildLabs would be greatly received by many, I believe.


Really excited to see ChatGPT making waves even in this community! I think there's a huge amount of potential for not just ChatGPT, but LLMs (large language models) and NLP (natural language processing) more broadly, to have concrete impacts on conservation. Like others have already mentioned, it can definitely be useful as a coding assistant, especially for people who don't have the strongest programming skills (and I recommend anyone to check out tools such as RTutor if you haven't already!). Beyond that, the utility within the context of scientific research could be quite potent. Climate scientists have begun to leverage NLP in a variety of contexts, e.g. using ClimateBERT to analyze climate risk disclosures, and I have seen conversations about the possibility of using NLP to analyze biodiversity offset initiative reporting, for example. Personally, I also see some really exciting opportunities for using ChatGPT and other NLP tools to assist in knowledge management, synthesis, dissemination etc.

I have some pretty concrete ideas about what this could look like, but more than anything I'd be really curious to discuss it in this community to see what use cases people can imagine! @StephODonnell if you're looking for someone to facilitate a conversation on this I'd be happy to host! I've been hosting some conversations on ChatGPT within a different industry and it's sparked some really cool conversations 🤗


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Thinking out loud

I am a scat dog handler and have been looking to add tech. into my odor training. I got a fresh idea of making a self-dispensing machine that automates when a small novice puppy...

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Hello Naomi

Using a remote reward device is not unusual for detection dog imprinting. I prefer a clicker so that I can transfer to field training easier than with a remote reward device. With the remote reward device, people typically people also use a place board for the dog to wait on. There are videos online of the remote reward device system being used in detection to give you some idea of the protocols.

Feel free to ask any questions,


Hello Paul, 

Sorry for the late reply. I have been looking through your YouTube channel and it has been very insightful. I will be making a firm foundation to my project by mid this year and will definitely get in touch soon.

Thanks again!


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