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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

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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Peter is being modest about how good the integration between EcoAssist and Timelapse already is... here's a nifty screenshot where I used EcoAssist to run MegaDetector and Peter's African species classifier on some images, then loaded the results into Timelapse.  No code, no command line, no fuss.

Yes, technically you have to launch EcoAssist outside of Timelapse (and smoothing over that last little bit is what Peter is referring to as a work in progress), then load the results into Timelapse, but basically it's one very slick workflow.  Props to Peter and Saul (who develops Timelapse) for making this all fit together so nicely!

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

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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Congratulations with the grant! I am looking much forward to seeing the result of your project!

Hi Michelle! Right now we're focused on species identification rather than counts of animals.

When you say timelapse images, is this a certain format like bursts? Curious to understand more about your data format

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. 

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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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I took delivery of the DJI Mavic Enterprise 3 Thermal the other day. The short hand nomenclature used on the controller for the thermal imagery is "IR" (short for infrared) so it is used even for cases where no IR lighting is in play.

 

 

After reading through the backlog of comments, I had a thought triggered by the mention of security cameras. Some security cameras don't get triggered by the usual PIR sensor, but by changes in the image in pre-set zones. I have a Bosch Binion starlight camera I was playing with and it worked this way. The area of the trigger zones could be adjusted once you had the camera set up and viewing the monitoring area. It wouldn't matter how slow the sloth moved, when it moved into the zone and changed the image, the camera would trigger. I assume sensitivity could be adjusted so you didn't get a trigger every time a leaf moved in the wind.

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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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Link

Using citizen science image analysis to measure seabird phenology

Our new paper uses data from the citizen science project, Seabird Watch (hosted on the Zooniverse platform; seabirdwatch.org), to measure seabird phenology. Volunteers marked birds in time-lapse images to investigate arrival and departure to/from the breeding grounds.

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discussion

Canopy Camera Trap for Indonesian Lizards

A colleague here in Panama, Scott Trageser, who runs https://biodiversitygroup.org/has an interesting challenge. There’s some kind of, thought to be extinct, rare monitor lizard...

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Hi Andrew! Great to hear your friend, Scott working in Indonesia! I bet he is working on east region with lot of cool monitor lizards!

I use Mavic 2 as well for my crocodile research in place with dense canopy and yes it was tricky! I would suggest to try DJI Avata may be better to do this task. Or maybe try equip propeller guard on the Mavic? 

Would be it possible for the drone setting up the rope and after that the camera lift up using rope and slap to your desire place? just an idea, but in OZ they use drone carrying long rope to caught the crocodile, when it caught, the drone will release the rope and shift to people to work.

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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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Hello @hjayanto , You are precisely the kind of collaborator we are looking to work with closely to enhance the user-friendliness of Pytorch-Wildlife in our upcoming updates. Please feel free to send us any feedbacks either through the Github issue or here! We aim to make Pytorch-Wildlife more accessible to individuals with limited to no engineering experience. Currently, we have a Huggingface demo UI (https://huggingface.co/spaces/AndresHdzC/pytorch-wildlife) to showcase the existing functionalities in Pytorch-Wildlife. Please let us know if you encounter any issues while using the demo. We are also in the process of preparing a tutorial for those interested in Pytorch-Wildlife. We will keep you updated on this!

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discussion

Timelapse Infrared Camera Suggestions

I am researching cameras for my thesis project researching harbor seals. I need a trail camera that can take infrared images in Timelapse mode. Does anyone have any...

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I doubt there is an off the shelf solution. Likely you will have to build one. Again I think the FLIR leptons could be of value here.

@krasi_georgiev  you have worked with Leptons before ? Is this something you are able to advise on ?

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discussion

Camera Traps batteries waste

Hi Wildlabs community! I am wondering how you or your country handle the battery wastes after the Camera Traps - including one-off alkaline and Lithium. In Indonesia, there is...

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Thanks for the update @Frank_van_der_Most . I have been curious about the AA Li-Ion/Li-Po batteries and how they perform. The sudden drop in reported voltage will likely be from the internal voltage regulator switching off when the internal cell gets to the low voltage threshold (usually around 3V) to avoid damage to the cell. Looking now at a discharge curve they show a constant 1.5V, then a step down to 1.1V before dropping to zero. I don't know how you can possibly test these externally to know how much energy they have left until you hit the 1.1V step. 

I've used AA rechargeable almost exclusively for many years now. I try to get rechargeables sourced from Japan (Panasonic Eneloop and Fujitsu), but have also used Eveready  and EBL. I've used them in Reconyx, Scoutguard, Loreda and other low end cameras. One option you could try if it's in your budget is the solar powered camera traps. You need one set of rechargeables when you first deploy them but don't need to change the batteries afterwards. I'm trialling the Gardepro model that a local supplier sells. I intend to deploy them high up in trees to monitor nest boxes and tree hollows, so regular access to change batteries and SD cards was going to be difficult.

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discussion

Li-ion rechargeable batteries suddenly drain

I am currently testing a camera trap with rechargeable Li-ion batteries and untill a week ago they were doing much better than the NiMH rechargeable batteries that I used before....

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Hi Frank,

Yes, I agree.  There is a halfway-house solution if you take a look at the Energizer Ultimate Lithium range of batteries.  They have superior life to alkaline batteries (3.5Ah in a single AA cell), though they are of course still one-time use.  They would also work a little better with your battery monitor since they have a graceful degradation between 1.8V down to 1.5V, but then they fall off a cliff ;-)

A multi meter would probably not be enough, unless you have a very fancy one. To get the energy use, you need to be able to integrate the current drawn over time.  Something like this: Otii Arc Pro

I don't know how much you paid for these, but Amazon Basics has a line of rechargeable AA batteries, including a high capacity version which can store 2400 mAh which is a little more than the ones you're using.  (I've seen even more capacity with other manufacturers.)

You might also want to consider avoiding batteries with USB ports in the future. It seems to me like just an additional thing that can break, especially if moisture could be an issue. 

Thanks for the link, Amanda. The price of $900 is a bit too steep for me, but at least I now know a bit better what you meant with a power analyser.

I can't remember either what I paid for the batteries, but I try to avoid buying stuff from mr. Bezos, because he is rich enough as far as I am concerned.

The moisture issue slipped my mind when I was in Europe. As far as  I remember, I liked the usb ports because I bought the batteries as a test and I didn't want to buy a separate charger, as I thought one needed one designed for Li-ion batteries. The usb ports made that possible.

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discussion

Tools for automating image augmentation 

Does anyone know of tools to automate image augmentation and manipulation. I wish to train ML image recognition models with images in which the target animal (and false targets)...

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Hi @arky !

Thanks for your reply.

I am running into pytorch/torchvision incompatibility issues when trying to run your script.

Which versions are you using?

Best regards,

Lars

 

@Lars_Holst_Hansen  Here is the information you requested. Also run Yolov8 in multiple remote environments without any issues.  Perhaps you'll need to use a virtual environment (venv et al) or conda to remedy incompatibility issues. 

$ yolo checks
Ultralytics YOLOv8.1.4 🚀 Python-3.10.12 torch-1.13.1+cu117 CUDA:0 (Quadro T2000, 3904MiB)
Setup complete ✅ (16 CPUs, 62.5 GB RAM, 465.0/467.9 GB disk)

OS                  Linux-6.5.0-17-generic-x86_64-with-glibc2.35
Environment         Linux
Python              3.10.12
Install             pip
RAM                 62.54 GB
CPU                 Intel Core(TM) i7-10875H 2.30GHz
CUDA                11.7

matplotlib          ✅ 3.5.1>=3.3.0
numpy               ✅ 1.26.3>=1.22.2
opencv-python       ✅ 4.7.0.72>=4.6.0
pillow              ✅ 10.2.0>=7.1.2
pyyaml              ✅ 6.0.1>=5.3.1
requests            ✅ 2.31.0>=2.23.0
scipy               ✅ 1.11.4>=1.4.1
torch               ✅ 1.13.1>=1.8.0
torchvision         ✅ 0.14.1>=0.9.0
tqdm                ✅ 4.66.1>=4.64.0
psutil              ✅ 5.9.8
py-cpuinfo          ✅ 9.0.0
thop                ✅ 0.1.1-2209072238>=0.1.1
pandas              ✅ 1.5.3>=1.1.4
seaborn             ✅ 0.12.2>=0.11.0
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discussion

Funding for Camera Trap Projects

Hello everyone; I'm a current Peace Corps volunteer serving in South America and wanted to start a camera trap program. I am working with a local nonprofit. This idea would use...

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I'm in Paraguay!

I'm looking for any starting points - databases, specific orgs i can apply to etc. 

I have found a nonprofit I've been working with and have found several grants to apply through my partnership with them but am obviously looking for more. 

I'm in Paraguay!

I'm looking for any starting points - databases, specific orgs i can apply to etc. 

I have found a nonprofit I've been working with and have found several grants to apply through my partnership with them but am obviously looking for more. 

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discussion

Conservation Technology for Human-Wildlife Conflict in Non-Protected Areas: Advice on Generating Evidence

Hello,I am interested in human-dominated landscapes around protected areas. In my case study, the local community does not get compensation because they are unable to provide...

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This is an area where my system would do very well in:



 

 

Also, as you mention areas dominated by humans, there is a high likelyhood that there will be enough power there to support this system, which provides very high performance and flexibility but it comes with a power and somewhat a cost cost.



Additionally, it's life blood comes with generating alerts and making security and evidence gathering practical and manageable, with it's flexible state management system.



Ping me offline if you would like to have a look at the system.

Hi Amit,

The most important thing is that the livestock owners contact you as soon as possible after finding the carcass. We commonly do two things if they contact us on the same day or just after the livestock was killed:

  1. Use CyberTracker (or similar software) on an Android smart phone to record all tracks, bite marks, feeding pattern and any other relevant signs of the reason for the loss with pictures and GPS coordinates. [BTW, Compensation is a big issue -- What do you do if the livestock was stolen? What do you do if a domestic animal killed the livestock? What if it died from disease or natural causes and was scavenged upon by carnivores afterwards?]
  2. In the case of most cats, they would hide the prey (or just mark it by covering it with grass or branches and urinating in the area). In this case you can put up a camera trap on the carcass to capture the animal when it returns to its kill (Reconyx is good if you can afford it - we use mostly Cuddeback with white flash). This will normally only work if the carcass is fresh (so other predators would not be able to smell it and not know where it is yet), so the camera only has to be up for 3-5 days max.

This is not really high-tech, but can be very useful to not only establish which predator was responsible (or if a predator was responsible), but also to record all the evidence for that.

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discussion

Passionate engineer offering funding and tech solutions pro-bono.

My name is Krasi Georgiev and I run an initiative focused on providing funding and tech solutions for stories with a real-world impact. The main reason is that I am passionate...

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Hi Krasi! Greetings from Brazil!



That's a cool journey you've started! Congratulations. And I felt like theSearchLife resonates with the work I'm involved round here. In a nutshell, I live at the heart of the largest remaining of Atlantic forest in the planet - one of the most biodiverse biomes that exist. The subregion where I live is named after and bathed by the "Rio Sagrado" (Sacred River), a magnificent water body with a very rich cultural significance to the region (it has served as a safe zone for fleeing slaves). Well, the river and the entire bioregion is currently under the threat of a truly devastating railroad project which, to say the least is planned to cut through over 100 water springs! 



In face of that the local community (myself included) has been mobilizing to raise awareness of the issue and hopefully stop this madness (fueled by strong international forces). One of the ways we've been fighting this is through the seeking of the recognition of the sacred river as an entity of legal rights, who can manifest itself in court, against such threats. And to illustrate what this would look like, I've been developing this AI (LLM) powered avatar for the river, which could maybe serve as its human-relatable voice. An existing prototype of such avatar is available here. It has been fine-tuned with over 20 scientific papers on the Sacred River watershed.



And right now myself and other are mobilizing to manifest the conditions/resources to develop a next version of the avatar, which would include remote sensing capacities so the avatar is directly connected to the river and can possibly write full scientific reports on its physical properties (i.e. water quality) and the surrounding biodiversity. In fact, myself and 3 other members of the WildLabs community have just applied to the WildLabs Grant program in order to accomplish that. Hopefully the results are positive.



Finally, it's worth mentioning that our mobilization around providing an expression medium for the river has been multimodal, including the creation of a shortfilm based on theatrical mobilizations we did during a fest dedicated to the river and its surrounding more-than-human communities. You can check that out here:



 

https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/850179762



 

Let's chat if any of that catches your interest!

Cheers!

Hi Danilo. you seem very passionate about this initiative which is a good start.
It is an interesting coincidence that I am starting another project for the coral reefs in the Philipines which also requires water analytics so I can probably work on both projects at the same time.

Let's that have a call and discuss, will send you a pm with my contact details

There is a tech glitch and I don't get email notifications from here.

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