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Looking for a place to discuss camera trap troubleshooting, compare models, collaborate with members working with other technologies like machine learning and bioacoustics, or share and exchange data from your camera trap research? Get involved in our Camera Traps group! All are welcome whether you are new to camera trapping, have expertise from the field to share, or are curious about how your skill sets can help those working with camera traps. 

discussion

Thoughts on new MSc in Conservation Technology

Hello everyone, We are in the process of developing a new MSc in Conservation Technology at my university and would welcome your feedback. If you would be willing to give...

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Hi @emmahiggins

sounds like a great plan. 

Could you tell more about the content of the program, and perhaps the institutional context (which department(s) is(are) going to offer the course, and which research programs or projects are related to it) , so we'll have something to orient our thoughts?

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discussion

Time drift in old Bushnell

Hi everyone! Have you ever experienced time drift in the old Bushnell NatureView Cam HD? If so, is there a way to fix it? The camera traps are still working pretty well for...

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discussion

Using drones and camtraps to find sloths in the canopy

Recently, I started volunteering for Sloth Conservation Foundation and learned that it is extremely difficult to find sloths in the canopy  because: 1) they hardly move,...

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Yes,  if the canopy is sparse enough, you can see through the canopy with TIR what you cannot see in the RGB. We had tested with large mammals like rhinos and elephants that we could not see at all with the RGB under a semi-sparse canopy but were very clearly visible in TIR. It was actually quite surprising how easily we could detect the mammals under the canopy. It's likely similar for mid-sized mammals that live in the canopy that those drier seasons will be much easier to detect, although we did not test small mammals for visibility through the seasons. Other research has and there are a number of studies on primates now. 

I did quite a bit of flying above the canopy, and did not have many problems. It's just a matter of always flying bit higher than the canopy. There are built in crash avoidance mechanisms in the drones themselves for safety so they do not crash, although they do get confused with a very brancy understory. They often miss smaller branches.If you look in the specifications of the particular UAV you will see they do not perform well with certain understories, so there is a chance of crashing. The same with telephone wires or other infrastructure that you have to be careful about. 

Also, it's good practice to always be able to see the drone, line-of-sight, which is actually a requirement for flight operations in many countries. Although you may be able to get around it by being in a tower or being in an open area. 

 Some studies have used AI classifiers and interesting frameworks to discuss full or partial detections, sometimes it is unknown if it is the animal of interest. I would carefully plan any fieldwork around the seasons and make sure to get any of your paperwork approved well before the months of the dry season. It's going to be your best chance to detect them. 

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Introducing The Inventory!

The Inventory is your one-stop shop for conservation technology tools, organisations, and R&D projects. Start contributing to it now!

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This is fantastic, congrats to the WildLabs team! Look forward to diving in.
Hi @JakeBurton,thanks for your great work on the Inventory!Would it be possible to see or filter new entries or reviews?Greetings from Austrian forest,Robin 
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discussion

MegaDetector v5 release

Some folks here have previously worked with our MegaDetector model for categorizing camera trap images as person/animal/vehicle/empty; we are excited to announce MegaDetector...

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Hi @dmorris,

might you have encountered this issue while working with Mega detector v5?

The conflict is caused by:
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.13 depends on torch==1.10.1
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.12 depends on torch==1.10.1
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.11 depends on torch==1.10.1

 

if yes what solution helped?

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discussion

Pytorch-Wildlife: A Collaborative Deep Learning Framework for Conservation (v1.0)

Welcome to Pytorch-Wildlife v1.0At the core of our mission is the desire to create a harmonious space where conservation scientists from all over the globe can unite, share, and...

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Hi everyone! @zhongqimiao was kind enough to join Variety Hour last month to talk more about Pytorch-Wildlife, so the recording might be of interest to folks in this thread. Catch up here: 

Hi @zhongqimiao ,

Might you have faced such an issue while using mega detector

The conflict is caused by:
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.13 depends on torch==1.10.1
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.12 depends on torch==1.10.1
pytorchwildlife 1.0.2.11 depends on torch==1.10.1

 

if yes how did you solve it, or might you have any ideas?

torch 1.10.1 doesn't seem to exist

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careers

Ecologist Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The incumbent will develop models and metrics that can be used to shape conservation policy using multiple data sources including camera traps, movement data and citizen science concerning the diversity and...

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discussion

Newt belly pattern for picture-matching

Hi!We are investigating the ability to use belly pattern of Great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) at larval stage for picture-matching in capture-recapture studies. Do...

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Cool project! (I would definitely match with the second photo on your example). Might be a project that you can run on Zooniverse instead of a Google Form? https://www.zooniverse.org/

Hi Robin this is a great idea! Have been thinking about approaching the community for quiz questions. Will reach out to Xavier to ask if we can use it or if he wishes to run it on next Wednesdays VH

Thanks, and that's a match! 

All these pictures are from a lab experiment and formated with AmphIdent. We took weekly belly pictures of several larvae. The aim of this google form is to validate (by comparing answers with the lab reference image base) picture-matching by human is reliable although the change of pattern can be verry quick at this life stage.  

If validated there will be the need to improve existing pattern-matching solutions for in situ observations of larvae, for instance with ML and/or Human Learning (thanks Zooniverse)...     

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discussion

WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - No-code custom AI for camera trap species classification

We're excited to introduce our project that will enable conservationists to easily train models (no code!) that they can use to identify species in their camera trap images.As we...

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Happy to explain for sure. By Timelapse I mean images taken every 15 minutes, and sometimes the same seals (anywhere from 1 to 70 individuals) were in the image for many consecutive images. 

Got it. We should definitely be able to handle those images. That said, if you're just looking for counts, then I'd recommend running Megadetector which is an object detection model and outputs a bounding box around each animal.

Hi, this is pretty interesting to me. I plan to fly a drone over wild areas and look for invasive species incursions. So feral hogs are especially bad, but in the Everglades there is a big invasion of huge snakes. In various areas there are big herds of wild horses that will eat themselves out of habitat also, just to name a few examples. Actually the data would probably be useful in looking for invasive weeds, that is not my focus but the government of Canada is thinking about it.

Does your research focus on photos, or can you analyze LIDAR? I don't really know what emitters are available to fly over an  area, or which beam type would be best for each animal type. I know that some drones carry a LIDAR besides a camera for example. Maybe a thermal camera would be best to fly at night.

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discussion

Camera Trap storage and analyzing tools

Hello everyone I am a current Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and am working with a local national park to create a camera trap project. A large part of the project is focused...

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I don't have an easy solution or a specific recommendation, but I try to track all the systems that do at least one of those things here:

https://agentmorris.github.io/camera-trap-ml-survey/#camera-trap-systems-using-ml

That's a list of camera trap analysis / data management systems that use AI in some way, but in practice, just about every system available now uses AI in some way, so it's a de facto list of tools you might want to at least browse.

AFAIK there are very few tools that are all of (1) a data management system, (2) an image review platform, and (3) an offline tool.  If "no Internet access" still allows for access to a local network (e.g. WiFi within the ranger station), Camelot is a good starting point; it's designed to have an image database running on a local network.  TRAPPER has a lot of the same properties, and @ptynecki (who works on TRAPPER) is active here on WILDLABS.

Ease of use is in the eye of the beholder, but I think what you'll find is that any system that has to actually deal with shared storage will require IT expertise to configure, but systems like Camelot and TRAPPER should be very easy to use from the perspective of the typical users who are storing and reviewing images every day.

Let us know what you decide!

Can't beat Dan's list! 

I would just add that if you're interested in broader protected area management, platforms like EarthRanger and SMART are amazing, and can integrate with camera-trapping (amongst other) platforms. 

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discussion

Integrating AI models with camera trap management applications

Hi All, As part of extending the work we are doing at the BearID Project, we are thinking about integrating the models we are developing into open source camera trap project. This...

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Would also add zamba and Zamba Cloud into the list of tools for running AI models (the former being with Python code, the latter being with a GUI). For the reader at home (since I know Dan knows), these are tools for species classification on camera trap videos. We've got pretrained models trained on over 250,00 videos covering 32 African forest species, 11 European species, as well as a blank / nonblank detector.

There is also the ability to train your own models for new species or locations. And we're super excited to extend this custom model training functionality to support camera trap images thanks to our WILDLABS award (more details here).

Thanks Dan for explaining and clarifying, and Ed and all others for contributing. As a somewhat technical person (IT business consultant) with no formal environmental education, but with a passion to understand and protect the environment, this is a topic I've been exploring and struggling with...

There are really skilled technical experts in this community that love to design and improve solutions, but it's not always easy for potential end users to understand and use said solutions without significant learning curves. And often solutions are designed from a technical perspective, and does not always consider end users' level of experience, knowledge and actual on the ground needs. This is not just a problem in the concervation technology space, but overall tech industry.

To clarify this for myself, I would love to see a summary of how conservation tech solutions fit into a camera trap process that include the following areas - and especially which tools fit where:

  1. Plan/Design: scope, requirements, timeframes, data needs, overall outcome. Also influences the selection of tools to use in the overall process.
  2. Capture/execute : both hardware (cameras, audio recorders, sensors, etc), and software (managing hardware lifecycle tracking, capturing trail camera data e.g. image file management, etc) solutions
  3. Process/Analyse: solutions for initial processing/culling, detailed analysis, and anything classification related
  4. Present/Display: how best to communicate, display and present the data gathered, analysed and classified...

If there is a resource that already do this comparison and sumarization of tools' capabilities please help me find it - otherwise it might be topic to be explored further...

 

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discussion

Blind Spots in Conservation Tech Management in Remote Landscapes: Seeking Your Input

Hello Everyone,I wanted to discuss something that's been on my mind since I started working in frontline conservation. Coming from the art+tech scene and being a maker myself, I'...

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Hi @lucianofoglia 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community. What you've touched on resonates with a number of users and developers (looking at you @Rob_Appleby) who share similar concerns and are keen to address these issues.

As a beliver in open sourcing conservation technologies, to mitigate issues you've noted (maintenance of technologies / solutions, repairability, technical assistance to name but a few), really the only way to achieve this in my eyes is through the promotion of openness to enable a wide range of both technical and non-technical users to form the pool of skills needed to react to what you have stated. If they can repair a device, or modify it easily, we can solve the waste issue and promote reusability, but first they need access to achieve this and commerical companies typically shy away from releasing designs to protect against their IP that they keep in house to sell devices / solutions. 

I would think for an organisation to achieve the same the community would need to help manufacturers and developers open and share hardware designs, software, repairability guides etc, but the reality today is as you have described.

One interesting conversation is around a kitemark, i.e a stamp of approval similar to the Open Source Hardware Association's OSHWA Certification), but as it's not always hardware related, the kitemark could cover repairability (making enclosure designs open access, or levels of openness to start to address the issue). Have a look at https://certification.oshwa.org/ for more info. I spent some time discussing an Open IoT Kitemark with http://www.designswarm.com/  back in 2020 with similar values as you have described - https://iot.london/openiot/

You may want to talk more about this at the upcoming Conservation Optimism Summit too. 

Happy to join you on your journey :)

Alasdair (Arribada)
 

Hi @Alasdair 
Great to hear from you! Thanks for the comment and for those very useful links (very interesting). And for letting @Rob_Appleby know. I can't wait to hear from her. 

Open source is my preference as well. And it's a good idea. But, already developing the tech in house is a step ahead from what would be the basic functional application of an organization that could manage the tech for a whole country/region. 

I have witnessed sometime how tech have not added much to the efficiency of local teams but instead being an tool to promote the work of NGOs. And because of that then innovative technologies are not developed much further that a mere donation (from the local team's perspective). But for that tech to prove efficient, a lot more work on the field have to be done after. The help of people with expertise in the front line with lots of time to dedicate to the cause is essential (this proves too expensive for local NGOs and rarely this aspect is consider).

I imagine this is something that needs to come from the side closer to the donors and International NGOs. Ideally only equipment can be lend within a subscription model and not just donated without accountability on how that tech is use. Effectively the resources can be distributed strategically over many projects. Allowing to tech to be repurposed. 

Sorry that I step down the technical talk, the thing is that sometimes the simplest things can make the most impact.

It would be good to know if any in the community that have spent considerable time working in conservation in remote regions, and have observed similar trends. 

Thanks! Luciano 

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article

The Variety Hour: 2024 Lineup

You’re invited to the WILDLABS Variety Hour, a monthly event that connects you to conservation tech's most exciting projects, research, and ideas. We can't wait to bring you a whole new season of speakers and...

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