Emerging Tech / Feed

Technology is changing and evolving faster than ever, and as it does, our community members are looking for the next big thing to revolutionize their conservation tech work. To chat about your favorite new tools that are just emerging in the field and discover innovations you haven't yet heard of, join this group!



 We are incredibly thankful to WILDLABS and Arm for selecting the MothBox for the 2024 WILDLABS Awards.  The MothBox is an automated light trap that attracts and...

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It's fun having these start running in the forests!

Awesome project!! Out of curiosity, is there a cost-per-part list for that $450? Like is there just 1 particular part that blooms the number or is it more just that there are lots of lower-cost components that collectively make up that price?

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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - TimeLord: A low-cost, low-power and low-difficulty timer board to control battery-powered devices

Hi everyone,@Alasdair from Arribada Initiative and I are so pleased to announce our TimeLord project as one of the lucky winners of this year's WILDLABS Awards. What is TimeLord...

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Thanks @Freaklabs, I think you'll really enjoy getting involved with this too as we're looking for input from makers in the community to get the most from the approach and to capture features and usability ideas from a large number of people.

I've a new modular drop-off tag build using @Rob_Appleby's original SensorDrop board that I think would be great for this project too to see if we can drop different compartments, or do various different timed events with the one TimeLord board.

Most importantly, we have to make it play a MIDI version of the DoctorWho theme song when you arm the device. That has to be the #1 feature if you ask me!


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Drop-deployed HydroMoth

Hi all, I'm looking to deploy a HydroMoth, on a drop-deployed frame, from a stationary USV, alongside a suite of marine chemical sensors, to add biodiversity collection to our...

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Hi Sol! This seems like an awesome project! I have a few questions in response: Where were you thinking of deploying this payload and for how long? 

Regarding hydromoth recorders, there have been several concerns that have popped up in my work with deploying the them at this depth because it's a contact type hydrophone which means it utilizes the case to transmit the sound vibrations of the marine soundscape to the microphone unlike the piezo element based hydrophones. 

  • At 30-60m you will likely have the case leak after an extended period of time if not immediately. The O-ring will deform at this depth, especially around the hinge of the housing. The square prism shape is not ideal for deep deployments you describe.  
  • After that depth and really starting at about 50m, a major concern is synthetic implosion from the small air pocket of the hydromoth not having a pressure release valve and lithium ion batteries getting exposed to salt water. This type of reaction would cause your other instruments to probably break or fail as well. 
  • You are unlikely to get a signal with a reinforced enclosure. The signal is generated via the material and geometry of the housing. The plastic will probably deform and mess with your frequency response and sound to noise ratio. If you place it against metal, it will dampen the sound quite a lot. We tried to do this, but the sensitivity is quite low with a large amount of self noise. 
  • A side not: for biodiversity assessments, the hydromoth is not characterized and is highly directional, so you wouldn't be able to compare sites through your standard aocustic indices like ACI and SPL.  

    That said if you are deploying for a short time, a hydrophone like an Aquarian H1a attached through a penetrator of a blue robotics housing that contains a field recorder like a zoom recorder may be optimal for half a day and be relatively cheaper than some of the other options. You could also add another battery pack in parrallel for a longer duration. 


Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your advice, this is really helpful!

I'm planning to use it in a seagrass meadow survey for a series of ~20 drops/sites to around 30 m, recording for around 10 minutes each time, in Cornwall, UK.

At this stage I reckon we won't exceed 30 m, but based on your advice, I think this sounds like not the best setup for the surveys we want to try.

We will try the Aquarian H1a, attached to the Zoom H1e unit, through a PVC case. This is what Aquarian recommended to me when I contacted them too.

Thanks for the advice, to be honest the software component is what I was most interested in when it came to the AudioMoth- is there any other open source software you would recommend for this?

Best wishes,


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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) for threatened Andean water frogs

In our project awarded with the "2024 WILDLABS Awards", we will develop the first Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) program to assess the conservation status and for...

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This is so cool @Mauricio_Akmentins - congrats and look forward to seeing your project evolve!

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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 for more info. I spent some time discussing an Open IoT Kitemark with  back in 2020 with similar values as you have described -

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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Announcing the WILDLABS Awards 2024 awardees!

After a long application review and finalisation process, we are thrilled to finally announce the winners of the WILDLABS Awards 2024! 

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Discuss with @Andrew_Hill and his team about their project!
Discuss with @JeremyFroidevaux and @DarrylCox about their project!
Discuss with @Hubertszcz and his team about their project!  
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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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BirdWeather | PUC

Hi Everyone,I just found out about this site/network!I wanted to introduce myself - I'm the CEO of a little company called Scribe Labs.  We're the small team behind...

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I love the live-stream pin feature!

Hi Tim, I just discovered your great little device and about to use it for the first time this weekend. Would love to be directly in touch since we are testing it out as an option to recommend to our clients :) Love that it includes Australian birds! Cheers Debbie

Hi @timbirdweather I've now got them up and running and winding how I can provide feedback on species ID to improve the accuracy over time. It would be really powerful to have a confirmation capability when looking at the soundscape options to confirm which of the potential species it actually is or confirm it is neither to help develop the algorithms.

Also, is it possible to connect the PUC to a mobile hotspot to gather data for device that isn't close to wifi? And have it so that it can detect either wifi or hotspot when in range? Thanks!

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Data Logger Suggestions

Hello, I have been using a data logger in my tag that doesn't seem to be working for our needs any longer. I was wondering if anyone might be able to suggest one they use and...

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Hi Andrea,

The OpenLog Artemis might be an option. I haven't used one of these yet, but its what I immediately thought of. Built in real time clock and IMU that records to microSD. It has four 14-bit ADCs and I2C connectors for the 'Qwiic' or 'grove' sensor boards. I'm not sure if it has programmable on/off cycles with the clock but you may find an existing project that does this. 

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Mass Detection of Wildlife Snares Using Airborne Synthetic Radar

Mass Detection of Wildlife Snares Using Airborne Synthetic RadarFor the last year my colleauges Prof. Mike Inggs (Radar - Electrical Engineering, Unviversity of Cape Town) and...

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Operating at 2GHz the radar penetrates vegetation so could see through canopy, but not through trunks of trees. However snares are typically set in groups, so one could maximise chance of locating all snares by carrying out a circular/spiral flight path after detection of a potential snare to locate others

Hi David,

I assume this will only work with wire (metal) snares? We often see snares made of nylon rope (used for lucern bales) in the field, which I assume will be missed by the radar?



Hi David, would love to collaborate with you on this topic. A few years ago Dr. Nick van Doormaal did his PhD on snaring with us and we ran a number of experiments on the detection of snares in a real world scenario using trained anti-poaching teams. I think it would be quite simple to replicate the study and then look at the efficacy of remote sensing vs human detection. Let me know if you are interested in chatting further!

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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 and...

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The greatest issue with ChatGPT is GIGO (Garbage in, garbage out). It doesn't matter how good the machine learning algorithm is, if it gets fed bad information (data) it will regurgitate bad information. One obvious problem is that it does not reference its information sources. So some of it might be established beyond any doubt, but then it includes something it made up out of thin air with an equally authoritative tone. Because at bottom, ChatGPT is still a dumb machine (or collection of machines) that has to be told what to do by its programmers. It can be useful, but for conservation issues that can have far-reaching implications, I will not trust it. It could be really useful with the addition of two measures (maybe one has already been implemented?):

  1. The option to show the references for all sources (for each statement that it makes; and if it makes its own logical deduction, show that explicitly).
  2. Either weighing or restricting its input to sources that has been checked (e.g. peer-reviewed articles) for at least its scientific output (maybe/hopefully Google is already doing this).

I think with the addition of these two functions it will really become useful to conservation. But we are not there yet. In the meantime it is similar to Wikipedia, maybe a good a starting point for further research.

Just so you know, I uploaded both a photo without a cat and one with a cat in the picture and ask if there was a cat in the picture it got it correct both times.


Uploading pictures to wildlabs doesn't seem to work at this time, so I can't show you the response, but the second answer with the cat in the picture it answered with:

"Yes, there is a cat in this picture. It appears to be in the middle of the driveway."

You can already achieve both of them with your prompt. 
Or, if you're not using ChatGPT specifically but another LLM that you can fine tune, you can use RAG or fine tuning to extra train the algorithm on the data you want it to extract information from.
With ChatGPT you can create your custom GPT now.

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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:


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


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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Need advice - image management and tagging 

Hello Wildlabs,Our botany team is using drones to survey vertical cliffs for rare and endangered plants. Its going well and we have been able to locate and map many new...

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I have no familiarity with Lightroom, but the problem you describe seems like a pretty typical data storage and look up issue.  This is the kind of problem that many software engineers deal with on a daily bases.  In almost every circumstance this class of problem is solved using a database.

In fact, a potentially useful analysis is that the Lightroom database is not providing the feature set you need.

It seems likely that you are not looking for a software development project, and setting up you own DB would certainly require some effort, but if this is a serious issue for your work, you hope to scale your work up, or bring many other participants into your project, it might make sense to have an information system that better fits your needs.

There are many different databases out there optimized for different sorts of things.  For this I might suggest taking a look at MongoDB with GridFS for a couple of reasons.

  1. It looks like you meta data is in JSON format.  Many DBs are JSON compatible, but Mongo is JSON native.  It is especially good at storing and retrieving JSON data.  Its JSON search capabilities are excellent and easy to use.  It looks like you could export your data directly from Lightroom into Mongo, so it might be pretty easy actually.
  2. Mongo with the GridFS package is an excellent repository for arbitrarily large image files.
  3. It is straightforward to make a Mongo database accessible via a website.
  4. They are open source (in a manner of speaking) and you can run it for free.

Disclaimer: I used to work for MongoDB.  I don't anymore and I have no vested interest at all, but they make a great product that would really crush this whole class of problem.

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Cutting edge plant conservation

A game-changing new tool is helping conservationists working with critically endangered cliff plants 

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Great work!  Although even the expanded numbers of individual plants are still concerningly tiny, it is reassuring to know that nature can keep more secret holdouts than we...
This has been an incredible adventure so far! Glad to have contributed to a new technology that will have a concrete ecological impact.
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Apply to Beta test Instant Detect 2.0

Hi WildLabs,ZSL is looking for Beta testers for Instant Detect 2.0. If you are a conservationist, scientist or wildlife ranger with experience working with innovative...

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Will you accept personal/hobbyist focused on conservation on their small plots of land (10-100 acres)?

I would, and know others, who would happily pay more than the official conservationists rate for the service, which could help to further subsidize the project. (Referring to your statement here:

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Call for Interview Subjects: Conservation Bioacoustics Methods

As a part of my ongoing doctoral research in Geography at Royal Holloway University of London, I’m looking for a new round of interview subjects who are willing to share their...

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Happy to help Samuel, will send a message

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