Community Base / Feed

The WILDLABS Community Base is the ideal place to get oriented with the all that our community platform offers, hear about news and opportunitys, and to meet new friends and collaborators. 


Discussion: 5 Ways To Advance Conservation Entrepreneurship

Just read this article from August 2016. I found it highly relevant and wanted to...

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I'll start.

My current thinking is that social-change is impractical to achieve directly. I think that ultimately, we cannot start by depending on human altruism and changing view points because economic issues such as poverty are too prevalent, especially where lots of habitat destruction occurs (Brasil gold mining, illegal logging, unsustainable palm oil farming). Economic incentive must be the primary driver. People must be able to make more money using sustainable approaches than they do with the unsustainable. For that, the sustainable approaches must be more efficient or serve a larger market. I'm not set in this thinking by any means, but it seems to me be a strong viewpoint. It's pure business. 

That said, I think conservation efforts should be focused on doing that business development worldwide and one place for biologists would be in ensuring that the production being done is actually sustianable. The kinds of business development might be "clean gold", another example is the Brasil nuts that are produced by an indigenous forest community. How many more businesses like Brasil nuts can we produce? Can we make sustainable wood cheaper/better than unsustainable? 

I think the most important issue to address is "How do we choke unsustainable supply chains?"

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Virtual Meetup Discussion: Tools and Spaces for Collaboration

Hi everyone,  We're just a few hours away from our next virtual meetup, this one will be all about...

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Hi all,

The recording and notes are now available here. Enjoy!


Could you enable a download so I can watch while I am offline.


I think zoom have an option to enable the download button.

Unfortunately, we're not set up to enable download for video recordings at the moment, but we do plan to upload shorter clips of each presentation to YouTube in the near future. We could also potentially make an audio-only version available for download if that would be of interest?

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Are you headed to ICCB 2019?

Hi everyone,  We'll be at ICCB next week and organising a heap of tech related activities. If you're around and want to meet other wildlabbers, please drop me a...

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Hi Steph,

Thanks for starting this thread. I'll be at ICCB too. I am presenting on social and organisational aspects of implementing technologies for protected area management and security on Tuesday 23rd at the session starting 11:45. Would love to join the meetups as well!

Yay!  Will you also be at the pre-conference short course?

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Introducing your new (beta) dashboard

Hi everyone,  As some of you may have noticed, we've quitely gone live with a beta version of a new dashboard for WILDLABS today. You can access it right now by...

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Am a developer, I would be happy to give some feedback and lend you a hand. 

The first major suggestion is related to the Typography. The font size are too large on some browsers. Also the embedded fonts doesn't always work on all browser/operating systems, for instance on chromium. 

See the attached screenshots below:

Large typeface:

Large titles:

Some type/icons fail to load




Hi everyone, 

New functionality for you! We've added in a email option. You can now elect to receive a regular email that summarises new conversations from the groups you're a member of. A lot of people have asked to recieve a notification when new discussion threads are started in your groups. This is our answer to that request, and we hope it offers helpful alerts while avoiding overwhelming your inbox with notifications.

At this stage, we have it set to be sent on the 1st of the month. We can change this to give you more options (e.g. you could elect to get it fortnightly), but while we're testing it we thought it best to keep it simple. This timing should compliment your regular Community Digest that we curate from across the full community -we aim to have this come out in the middle of the month.  

To turn this email on, visit your dashboard and click the cogs under your profile image on the left. Go to the 'Privacy & Notifications' tab, and then select the checkbox next to 'Please send me an email summary of the activities in my subscribed groups' (see screenshot attached). You can update your preferences here at any time. 

If you want to see any changes (e.g. different timing options?) please let us know!



Hi Steph and WildLabs team, this is a great idea and I'm liking these added options. I just noticed that when accessing conversations from the Dashboard > My Groups, there's no option on there to 'subscribe to this conversation' or to click onto the original conversation URL to do so.

Thanks for continually innovating!

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WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Series – Season 2!

First of all, we want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the first season of the ...

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Hi Steph. 

Thanks for the clarification. I had misunderstood and thought it was a call for volunteers to propose potential talks for the virtual meetups. I hadn't realized the speakers were already chosen. Ha ha ha. I will take a look at the previous meetups to understand the format better. Looking forward to the next one and will participate in the discussion :)


Hi all, 

Reminder that the second event in Season 2 of the series is happing TOMORROW May 8 from 2pm-3:30pm GMT / 10am-11:30am EDT! Note that this is 3pm-4:30pm BST due to daylight savings. The meetup will focus on Tools & Spaces for Collaboration, with contributions from 3 wonderful speakers and 3 innovative makerspaces/field labs. You can still register here to join. For those who are unable to join us live, the meetup will be recorded and shared on the series page within a week of the event.

Hope to see you tomorrow!


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Help requested—verifiable stories where low-tech solutions beats out high-tech

Hi all, I know this forum is focused on using technology to aid in conservation, but I also know that technology isn't a silver bullet and in some cases low-tech solutions...

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One more that just came to mind is the beehive fences that help protect crops and reduce elephant-human conflict. Dr Lucy King will be speaking in just under 2 hours on this topic, live-streamed on the WCN Facebook page:

more information on the elephants and bees project:

Conservation dogs is a big one, with koala scat dogs being highly successful here in QLD, Aus. I also was at the local dump the other day and I noticed that one of the crew working there was walking around cracking a whip to disperce all the ibis trying to get into the pit. They all seemed to fly away immediately, and he was a good 30m or so from the nearest bird. As this sort of thing is of great interest to me, I approached him and asked a bunch of questions, like, how long does it take them to return, and what other things have you tried? He was really helpful. Basically, the whip along with water sprayers are the only things so far that consistently work to keep the birds away for any length of time. They tried 'loud sound players' (didn't know much more than that) to no avail and the public also complained. I was there a good half an hour talking with him and I didn't see any birds come back into the pit, but he said sometimes it only takes about ten minutes. Other times it can be hours. It's interesting because there's a study showing that macropods didn't habituate to either a whip crack or their own warning stimulus (foot stomp - see:, so perhaps the whip crack is a little more immune to habituation/desensitization? 

Here's a link to a study about koala scat detection dogs: and check out Figure 1, which compares difference in time between detections in dogs and humans:

It's hilarious! Literally my favourite box-and-whiskers plot of all time (and yes, I do have a favourite).

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Debate: Tech giants moving into conservation in the future

The intersection of tech and conservation will see tech giants move into philanthropic environmental projects to mitigate their bad image, provide employees a feeling of worth and...

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Interesting question. Dropping some replies you're already getting from @samrye and @Alasdair on Twitter here to help move the discussion along:  

Thoughts... I have many.

Are you wondering about likelihood, or something else though?@Al2kA might have some musings...?

— Sam Rye (@sam__rye) April 12, 2019

It’s an interesting thing to think about the future players of conservation efforts. Data science will certainly be a driving force and who better to take a slice of the pie than tech monopolies?

— Spencer Dixon  (@spencerldixon) April 12, 2019

This has already started with Microsoft appointing @lucasjoppa as Chief Environmental Officer. Private sector will take bigger steps into conservation.

— Spencer Dixon  (@spencerldixon) April 12, 2019

There's definetly a rise in the big players exposing their tools for conservation use (Google's TensorFlow), but long-term in field commitment is their achilles heel. They still need NGOs & will predominently focus on big data that's eaiser to access (remote sensing vs in field)

— Alasdair Davies (@Al2kA) April 12, 2019

One concern I have is that just as tech companies tend to agglomerate into a monopoly, so too might thoughts regarding conservation.  We might end up with a mental monoculture.

For instance, the popular wisdom at this time seems to be that we must priotitise the microplastic pollution problem, although some experts feel climate change is the more pressing issue.  What can be tempting for a large company is to only concentrate on the thing they are best positioned to act upon.  Given their pulpit and ubiquity, this view can become canon in the popular mind.

On the other hand, it's been commented that conservation efforts are so fragmented, that a powerful leader can unify these disparate NGOs under a common framework.


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WILDLABS Virtual Meetup Series – Call for Input

The WILDLABS team is planning a series of virtual meetups for members to engage in conversations on conservation tech solutions that bridge our community groups. With a focus...

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also, this looks intriguing:

Hi everyone, 

Friendly bit of community housekeeping here. If you're interested in the What would an open source conservation technology toolkit look like? discussionit's continued (with enthusiasm) here

I recommend using the 'reply as new thread' button, as it'll now drop in a link where the conversation diverged that directs people to your new conversation. 



Hi everyone, 

Okay, so I've been going through and compiling all the comments here to double check we're covering off all the ideas and requests that have come out. I think we're doing a pretty good job thus far with Season 1 and what we're planning for the rest of Season 2

Here's where we stand: 


Open Source and Open Tools for Conservation (covered)

'I'd be really interested in seeing our growing community focus efforts on developing cost-effective, modular, open-source designs using a similar principle to Arduino (i.e. a common base or concept module that we can all build around), rather than re-inventing the wheel so-to-speak.'

Explored in Low Cost, Open Source Solutions Meetup. To continue the discussion about this topic (including whether we need further meetups to pick up ideas raised?), join the meetup discussion here. It'll also be covered in the second meetup of season two (tools and space for collabration). 

Collaboration (covered)

'How best to collaborate, share resources and spread design and testing loads without doubling up etc., would be fantastic'

To be covered in the upcoming Tools and Spaces for Collaboration (both online and offline, e.g. APIs and makerspaces) Meetup. Are there specific questions/discussion points you want covered? Join the discussion here

Open Data (partially covered)

I'd be interested in a discussion on Open Data and how that can support wildlife conservation. Eg training in the creation of open data, licensing and publication, accessing open data and the potential risks and benefits. There is pressure for more and more conservation research data to be  published openly, what are implications for threatened species? Are there any good examples of the benefits of publishing data?

This was partly covered in our Big Data meetup, and I suspect it's going to part of the discussion in the upcoming Tools and Spaces for Collaboration meetup and the Creative approaches to data-driven storytelling Meetup. I think that a stand alone discussion thread on this topic could help move it forward, @thaliebel . I recommend getting this started in our Data Science group and see who also is interested and start hashing out what's needed. If it emerges that there's a big need to give this stand alone space for a meetup type discussion, we can pick it up from there. 


Wildlife Tracking (covered)

'Very cool. I’m in. Telemetry and drones...(remind me to ask you about drones for tag placement after my experience in Niue) happy to participate and pull colleagues in if needed.' 

Explored in Next-Gen Wildlife Tracking meetup. There are some follow up activities identified, including the need for a landscape map of who is doing what in developed tracking devices - where they are on the roadmap - if you have ideas for taking this forward, please shout out. And there was a lot of interest in ICARUS. We're talking with the team about potentially doing a one-off Q&A session with the team so you can ask all your questions. Let us know if this would be of interest. 


Outstanding ideas: Possibly for Season 3 

  • Non-invasive Techniques (including DNA) 
  • GIS
  • Camera Trapping
  • Bioacoustics 

We're starting to think about season three, for the second half of 2019. We're throwing around the idea that it could be focused on field users of some specific technologies, which may be challenging technology/connection wise, but it would be really valuable to hear from a variety of field applications. What do you think? Are there other topics we should cover? Let us know if you are deploying tech and can share your experience, or if you know of someone we should get involved. 


Outstanding ideas: For other follow up

Using high resolution satellite imagery 

Interested in a session about using high resolution satellite imagery for wildlife monitoring/IWT, principally 'what are the best sources of free high resolution imagery?

@isla and @Thomas+Starnes - as you flagged this topic for discussion, are you still interested in it being covered? I don't know enough about what your open questions are but I'm wondering if there is another format that we could explore for answering this question. Maybe the training materials/videos Akiba is suggesting here? Is a walkthrough what you're looking for, or is it more about a sharing/discussion with peers? 


How is everyone powering remote tech?

Also, how is everyone powering remote tech.? I imagine solar is a big one, but doesn't that make systems easily observable/avoidable or worse?  - @Rob+Appleby 

I think this needs to be a stand alone discussion, possibly building on the discussion @Femke+Hilderink has started about the Battery Challenge - how to reduce battery waste and potentially connected to this thread about extending battery life with solar panels. Rob, what do you think - is there a separate discussion to be broken off here? 


Future Gazing

  • If you did future gazing, I think what role could 5G / meshed networks in monitoring, or a meetup to cut through blockchain nonsense and see what exact problems it can address may be useful? - @craigmelson 

  • I agree, it would be good to sort out what we have at hand right now, what's just over the horizon (for example, any implications of the recent deal between Iridium and Amazon for cheaper satellite data services?) and what's a bit more distant. A very good idea indeed - @Rob+Appleby 

This ties in really nicely with an idea @JoeNash and I have been playing with about a simple series where we call up an expert and ask them to cut through the hype. We're thinking of questions like 'What is an API?', 'What is Blockchain?', 'What is Machine Learning?', 'What is 5G?, 'What is open source?' etc. These pop ups could be a different way to get at these questions - laying the ground work so we all have a common understanding of what we're talking about before we have these more technical futurecasting discussions. More on that very soon - i'll update this comment with a link when we post about it.. 

Connected to this - I've also been wondering if there's a need for spaces for smaller groups to have more technical discussions. The virtual meetups are awesome in that they create a common ground for everyone to talk about these big picture ideas and throw questions to the experts. I thhink it makes it accessible for both the conservationists and the technologists, and I'm keen to keep them as their own distinct thing, rather than trying to make them try to do everything for everyone. By their very nature they are not going to go into the hardcore technical space, they're more for exploring ideas. So having seperate spaces (smaller meetings/working groups?) that taking ideas forward in more detail (maybe this ties into your nasa idea, @Rob+Appleby ?) - could be complementary. What do you think? 


As always, I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks for the energy with which you've embraced these meetups, it's made it such a pleasure to be involved with them and to help create a space for you all to make things happen. I'm looking forward to seeing where else we take this. 




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WILDLABS.NET Functionality and Features - have your say

Hi everyone,  We've been getting lots of constructive feedback on the site from different communtiy members getting in touch through private messages and...

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Can I get notifications for a group? I want to get an email each time a new topic is added to 'Drones' without having to keep coming back.

Thanks for the feedback tom! Yes, giving everyone more options around their email alerts is at the top of my list as well. It's pretty much all or nothing right now, and the lack of email notifications about new threads beginning is a big limitation we'd like to address. Will keep you posted! 

I think there might be room for improvement in the forum layout, and information shown.

Having only 5 threads per page restricts the number of active discussions that can be held simultaneously before one of them loses visibility by being pushed to the next page.  Increasing this number, or adding an 'infinite scroll' feature found in other forum software like Discourse might help to facilitate more discussion.

Additionally, knowing which user was the last to respond to a thread would also be quite useful.  This would allow users to quickly identify when admins, core contributers, or the original author have added to the discussion.

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Have your say - take the WILDLABS Community Survey 2019

Hi wildlabbers! We've just launched our Community Survey for 2019 - if you have a moment,...

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Hi everyone, 

So a quick update on this. We've had 100+ responses so far which lots of really interesting feedback coming through. We're going to close this year's survey at the end of the month, so you still have time to add your perpsective to the mix. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share some of the early results we've had so you can see what trends are coming through. I'll share the results in seperate comments in this thread over the next few days so it's not too overwhelming. I'm very interested to hear any thoughts about these early results - do you agree with them, are they unexpected? 

The first one is about the functionality you want us to concentrate on adding to WILDLABS in the next 12 months. From responses so far, the highest priority is for what I'd classify as tools for collaboration. There are a lot of things you'd classify as nice to have, but hands down you'd prioritise new tools that allow you to share information/updates about your work, and make it easier to find people with skills you need or projects that need your skills. are what what you want to see asap.

Conversely, you're not particularly interested in knowing more about how things you post here are doing (e.g. personal analytics or a badging system). This is interesting - I suspect it's because it doesn't really matter how many people see what you post, the main thing that matters is the practical outcome and whether you get the answer or connection that was the reason behind you posting.

What do you think, do the trends about functionality priorities agree with what you think? 







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SCB ICCB 2019 - travel awards open now

Hey everyone,  Quick reminder that SCB ICCB 2019 abstracts are due Monday.  In partnership with the SCB...

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ICCB 2019 Travel Reimbursement Awards – Applications Open

The deadline to submit an application for ICCB 2019 Travel Awards is 15 March at 11:59 p.m US Eastern Standard Time. All applications must be submitted online.

ICCB Travel Awards will help off-set some of the awardees’ expenses to attend SCB's 29th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2019) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 21-25 July 2019.

The availability of travel reimbursement funds is determined by the amount of money raised through sponsorships and the amount provided to the awardees will vary based on location, need, and priority status.

Applicants need to meet one of the following essential required applicant type:

Full-time graduate (Master or PhD level equally considered), or undergraduate, students currently enrolled at a university based in a developing country (this criterion applies regardless of citizenship). Priority will be given to graduate students over undergraduate students based on a 70/30 ratio.

Early career researchers based in a developing country and whose salary does not come directly from sources in developed countries.  This criterion applies regardless of your country of citizenship. An early career researcher is anyone employed and conducting research within three years of having completed a Masters or a PhD degree.

Staff from NGOs based full-time in a developing country. Priority will be given to those travelling internationally on a 70/30 ratio.

To apply for travel awards please click here

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Upcoming tech4wildlife gatherings

Hi All, I'm looking for upcoming tech4wildlife conferences, workshops and gatherins during 2019 espeically in London, Glasgow and Bristol, but also interested beyond that...

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Hi Vance

We are organising a Conservation and Technology Conference to take place at the University of Nottingham on Friday 6 September 2019.

This one day conference will explore conservation and technology for all wildlife (not just bats!)
It aims to:
- bring together wildlife conservationists, ecological consultants, researchers and technology experts to network and share knowledge/products/techniques.
- showcase new technologies, new applications of existing technologies and new developments in best practice
The programme will be talks-based and feature a mix of talk lengths, including some lightning talks to showcase new technologies, longer talks for projects/technologies where there are more results to discuss and a key note talk – speaker to be confirmed soon.
The Programme Selection Team would like to invite the submission of abstracts, particularly for projects using new technologies to support wildlife conservation or projects using existing technologies in new ways for conservation. We are keen to develop a diverse programme, featuring speakers working with a range of wildlife and technologies.
Abstracts should be submitted as a Word or pdf document and emailed to me: [email protected] by 15 March 2019 with the title Conservation and Technology Conference Abstract Submission.
There will also be posters on display at the Conservation and Technology Conference, please email mewith a short abstract or brief overview of the project/topic you would like to present a poster on: [email protected]
Please do share this with any friends or colleagues that you think might be interested or drop me an email with any questions, suggestions of speakers or projects you think might be interested or if you'd like to register your interest in the event. 

Best wishes


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Advice for pilot regen project (New Forest, UK)

I would be very grateful for any advice. We are working on the conversion of a 3 x acre "brownfield" site in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK.  The site is...

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I know this might be controversial but why do anything - why not let nature do it's thing and just observe.  That way it would establish a baseline and help to formulate acellerator interventions for other sites.   Although Knepp has started from a different base it's an interesting story in low intervention rewilding

Thanks David,

I understand your point, but we are now collaborating with University research that will be examining (amongst other things) the microbial level, especially in poor and polluted environments. The request still stands, and any relevant collaboration would be welcomed.

All the best.



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Conservation X Labs is hiring!

We are hiring engineers, marketing specialists, and an operations director! For those who are passionate about technology and its potential to improve natural resource management...

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Bright Frog Game Studios logging on!

Hello! My name is Gabriela Fleury, a conservation biologist and graduate of the University of Cape Town's ConBio programme. I work with Jaymie Krambeck, a software engineer...

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Loving the enthuasim Gabriela (and Jaymie), welcome to the WILDLABS community! We're delighted to have you on board.

You're already right amongst it, so I'm pretty much just going to keep our of your way so you can keep doing your thing. Just know that I'm here (via direct message through my profile or at [email protected]) if you need me. 

As with all new members, I do recommend checking out our regular digest as a great way to get oriented about the latest conversations that are happening in the community, the most recent issue is available here.

You've done a stellar job introducing yourself to the community here, if you're keen to connect with other members a good starting point is our welcome thread or our member directory

Other than that, there is nothing more to add from my end. I look forward to seeing your enthusiastic posts in our community! 


Welcome! How are you getting on with your game studio?

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