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Human-Wildlife Conflict / Feed

Human-wildlife conflict is a significant challenge that only grows as habitats shrink and other issues like climate change alter the natural world. Technologies like biologging gear have become essential for proactively addressing human-wildlife conflict before it escalates, and tech projects that seek to understand population ranges and behaviour can help people learn to live with wildlife as part of our own environments. If you're interested in using technology to prevent human-wildlife conflict, this group is the place for you!

discussion

Help - Innovative ways to track elephant movement

Hi, I am working on a study to track wild elephant movement within an overlayed matrix of crop fields. We seek to understand how various landscape variables impact crop-raiding...

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Agreed, I was going to ask if you've looked into acoustic or also seismic sensors? E.g., I recently came across this paper using seismic sensors and a helpful little storymap overview of remote sensing tools for elephant monitoring, but I'm sure others here provide more insight. Also, @Alasdair / Arribada have worked on an elephant detection/early warning system using thermal sensors, not sure what the progress is but could be a helpful model on the real-time alert front!

Why would you want to avoid alerting the rangers ?

You don't need high tech for this; elephants leave very obvious tracks and sign. 

Hi Tyler,

Would like to introduce you to Ceres Tags products

  • Ceres Tags products come in boxes of 5, 10 and 24. 
  • There are some software partners such as Earthranger, Mapipedia and possibly CiboLabs that would be able to assist you with your mapping vegetation requirements
  • Ceres Tag does not require any towers, base stations and infrastructure. This allows you to see any movements from the heard outside of their normal herd (boundary alerts), and you will not be disturbing any of the flora and fauna with infrastructure set up. 
  • For the timing you are looking at, Ceres Wild pings directly to satellite 24 times a day. For Ceres Trace and Ceres Ranch there are 4 within 24 hours. Taking into consideration, when you set up alert areas, you will get them directly to your phone/laptop via your software of choice
  • Ceres Ranch is a reusable tag that has just been launched. Use it on this project, remove the tag and then use the tag on your next project
  • The software you choose will assist with the history of your animal movements. Ceres Tag is integrated with 11 software partners and in-development with 18 software partners https://cerestag.com/pages/software-partners
  • Understanding it is a short-term project, you would be able to use Ceres Tags products without the additional expense of setting up and removing infrastructure- towers, gateways
  • With Ceres Tag, you are purchasing the box of tags and picking a suitable software to deliver the information you require. On average, a box of 10 Ceres Trace Tags, is the same as 1 LoRaWAN tower. 

 

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careers

Shark Lab Data Analyst

This position (at California State University, Long Beach) provides data management & analysis support to Shark Lab research operations including shark tagging, active tracking, receiver data, AUV & UAV data...

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article

Mara Predators Hackathon 

APPLY NOW! The Sovereign Nature Initiative has partnered with the Kenya Wildlife Trust to experiment with emerging technologies to support their predators' conservation work.Challenges will focus on:1. Lion...

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article

Ceres Wild Rhino application 

An update on Ceres Tags products that are being used in conservation 

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Some updates and a news report on the Malilangwe Trust application of devices; Ceres Trace and Ceres Wild
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article

Human-wildlife conflict one of the greatest threats to wildlife species - WWF and UNEP report

Report says the problem is as much a development and humanitarian issue as a conservation concern and risks derailing the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Part of this problem, IMO, is that we do not understand how to limit our own footprint and still get what we need. We are addicted to bigger is not only better, but necessary. I'd...
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article

CERES TAG

Ceres Tag sends just in time alerts and GPS location to have the power to track and trace.

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discussion

Hello there

Hi everyone, I'm new here! I'm a UX designer and researcher, and an animal lover. Excited to be part of Conservation Tech here at WildLabs! Feel free to reach out to me for...

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discussion

Thermal cameras for monitoring visitors in highly vulnerable conservation areas

Hi everybody, Im Alex González, a consultant and researcher in sustainable tourism and conservation. I'm currently consulting a conservation organisation for the development...

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You should talk with the folks at Arribada Initiative, like @Alasdair, as they've used thermal cameras to automatically detect polar bears & alert local response teams (to avoid human-wildlife conflict). The folks at ConservationAI are also doing similar work. RESOLVE also has the Trailguard system 

Most of the geofencing projects I know of are working with tags rather than cameras (e.g., LionShield, Save the Elephants) but it sounds like that wouldn't be as relevant for your needs.

The Conservation Tech Directory may have other examples as well.  

Thanks! Actually a major concern is wether thermal cameras could substitute the use of eco-counters, and therefore save money and reduce complexity in data analysis. 

I will contact them.

At Ol Pejeta, through the Kifaru Rising project, we have 19 FLIR thermal cameras that we use to address poaching as a conservation challenge.

The cameras have been deployed along a key fence line and are monitored 24/7 by a dedicated team.

The cameras have inbuilt analytics capabilities which allow us to design virtual fences/boundaries. 

An Alert is  generated whenever a human or vehicles crosses the virtual fence. Following an alert, appropriate ranger action is undertaken depending on the video content recorded with each alert.

I think the Alert feature available with these cameras could be leveraged to monitor the wildlife visitor interaction, seeing as a video clip is recorded with each alert, the thermal video clips could be reviewed to assess the wildlife-human interaction effects.

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discussion

Temporarily marking of polar bears entering villages

Dear HWC community, I'd like to share with you a challenge highlighted by my colleagues of the WWF Arctic programme and hope you might have any suggestions! In various...

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Hi Femke, did you get any responses to this question? If so I would be interested in hearing what came up. 

Long ago I was trapping small mammals and we would use picric acid (fluorescent yellow) to dye the hair on the bellies of mice and voles. It is a bit explosive esp if it drys out but we never had any issues of that sort. Maybe there is a safe and stable form that could be deployed via paint gun - I seem to recall that the Polar Bear Alert Team in Churchill Manitoba tested paintballs on polar bears but not sure of the results. 

Stephen 

Hi @Femke_Hilderink , long time no speak! 

What an interesting problem/project! 

Does it have to be paint, as there was this project a while back: 

I don't know how it's going, but am really interested to hear anything...

If something like paint is preferable, maybe drones delivering it could work? I am super interested in using drones to drop tracking tags onto animals, and polar bears are big enough targets to give this a rip snorting go! Happy to discuss.  

I had a colleague that used food dye to temporarily colour Australian ibis at refuse sites. If memory serves they trialled sprinklers and super soakers for delivery with some success. I can try and dig up more information if you like?

Or could their foot pads be painted, as maybe they could 'pick up the paint' by walking over an area with paint on the ground? That way their coats are left relatively untouched...

Looking forward to hearing other ideas!

Cheers,

Rob

 

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discussion

Automated Elephant-detection system

Hi everyone, I thought I would introduce my automated elephant-detection system, that I have been working on over the summer for the hackaday prize. It was a finalist in...

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I did think of using thermal imaging cameras like FLIR systems ones - but they are just too expensive! I'm trying to get the detection devices for <$150 really. Also, since they are so expensive, people would probably go ahead and steal them :-(

I wasn't sure about power. I'm currently trying with a lead acid battery (12v, 7Ah). I can charge that with solar panels, and it'll last quite a while longer than a Lithium Ion Polymer 2000mAh! + I needed 12v for the IR illuminators anyway + can step it down for the raspberry pi to 5v . The power management is prob the thing giving me the most headache since I've not much experience with that! 

Hi,

This is rakesh kalva from India. I have been working on human-elephant conflict in the state of Andhra Pradesh for the past 5 years. This is a cool idea. I have used camera traps to identify movement and individual elephants for demographic data. 

Some field based observations of using camera traps for elephants:

1. I usually place the camera traps on forest paths and many of the images we captured wernt of the complete elephant. Its just the legs and trunk. Wont that effect the detection by the software as to wether its an elephant or not?

2. In case of flash cameras , quite a lot of our cameras got damaged by elephants. So we were going for IR cameras. WIll it work for IR cameras as well?

3. Another issue is with the cameras being stolen by locals or poachers.

4. So we gave up all this and are using a simple trip technology with a switch attached to a door bell attached to a rope placed at a height of 7-8 feet. In this landscape no other animal is at this heigh so when the alarm is triggered we know its an elephant.

5. Elephants operate in a large territor, so will it be feasable to use this technology? 

But there are some interesting research questions that can be answered with this technology you are developing. Kindly let me know if i can be of any help on field.

 

Regards,

Rakesh Kalva

Wildlife Biologist

Hi Neil,

I am a project manager for Zoological Society of London's Thailand Programme. We work in the southern Western Forest Complex of Thailand, which is a large landscape of relatively contiguous forest surrounded by development and agriculture and thus rife with human-elephant conflict. We are currently looking to co-develop or pilot low-cost cameras or acoustic sensors for real-time detection of elephants at HEC hotspots within the landscape. Current issues we've been facing are high rates of non-target stimuli triggers which clog up the cloud (so the automated classification of elephants would be useful to limit notifications) and the high cost of conventional cellular camera systems. I am curious to know the current status of your Elephant AI system. The most recent update I've found on your hackaday is of the combination with a deterrence system, which is very promising. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or reply to this message.

Cheers,

Juliana

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discussion

International Platform to exchange knowledge and experiences about solutions/initiatives on Human-Wildlife conflict issues

Hi all,  For all of you involved in human-wildlife conflict and coexistence issues, I invite you to discover and become member of this multi-stakeholders international...

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Why this collaboration platform? What entails to become ENCOSH member? 

Tackling human-wildlife coexistence issues requires an holistic approach with various initiatives/measures/strategies. Many of these have been tested in various places over the world by various stakeholders. But there is a lack of sharing these initiatives across the world. Besides, many could be adapted in various context and for different animal species. It is like a big puzzle with all pieces out there but spread out. 

This is why this collaborative platform was created to gather all extant initiatives/measures/strategies and multi-stakeholders involved in these "solutions" to share their knowledge and experiences so that everyone can learn from each other and better tackling such issues locally. 

Any user who registers on the platform becomes members, the only engagement is to accept the privacy policy and terms & conditions. Members can have access to all the platform features. They can also share their own initiatives/measures (not a whole project) if they want to contribute. This will create technical sheets that our team will first review before sharing on the platform and will be then available to all and downloadable in many languages for use in different countries and on the field. 

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discussion

Tech, Evidence and Financial Compensation for livestock losses due to predators

Hi there,   I am working on Smart devices to prevent Jaguar attacks on livestock, as a collateral effect, those devices can generate early alerts and evidence to...

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Chavoux....

BRILLIANT! 

 

Regarding collaring, I am developing collars for livestock, not for Jaguars. BCB detects Jaguars using Smart Cameras (smart fences are on the plans as well) and that information is inside livestock collars, so you can get early alerts if domestic animals are in dangerous zones (people here release their animals for feeding, etc). If no Smart cameras are present, you can tag the areas manually if you have the evidence from camera trapping or inhabitants (I developed simple panic buttons as a way to engage local inhabitants). I was about to test all this however the pandemic imposed trip restrictions since the early days of March!

That's regarding tech. Your views on the human side are really interesting, I will talk about this soon with Conicet Researchers, I guess more synchronization with NGOs are needed, there are a lot of political things in the middle however, this sounds quite good to me: "predator friendly meat" brand, if you want, please drop me an email at [email protected] so I can get yours or subscribe to the BCB's site (The site is to try to encourage other people to use tech and talk about the Jaguar situation here, it is not for fundraising)

 

There are some simple things that can be done to make a huge difference, tech is only an enabler in my opinion. I collected a few tips also here (not mine, I'm a tech guy but I liked the drawings, they were made with love for Jaguars!)

 

www.wildedge.info/jaguarcampaigni

Warm regards Chavoux! I hope other people will read your words as well!

Hello Carlos and Chavoux, 

Interesting exchange, thank you! Working on HWC, boh locally on Human-Jaguar coexistence in French Guyana and globally through the ENCOSH platform, it would great to learn more from your initiatives and  experiences!

An opportunity to do so is to join us and contribute to the ENCOSH platform: https://encosh.org/en/

It is a recent international collaborative platform to promote the exchange of knowledge, experiences and ideas among all stakeholders worldwide to better tackling Human-Wildlife coexistence issues. A forum will be very soon included also. 

Your contribution would be meaningful by submitting some of your initiatives to this community. Besides, you could find and make comments on a list of almost 100 extant initiatives used to enhance Human-Wildlife interactions worldwide. 

I remain available if you need further information or guidance. 

All the best 
Tommy Gaillard

This is an awesome thread and very enlightening. Thank you! I started reading this as Oregon recently had an entire pack of wolves poisoned, and I wanted to understand the viewpoints that go into these conversations. Thank you!

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article

Technical Difficulties: The Death of Giants

Christie Sampson
In her contribution to the Technical Difficulties Editorial Series, Christie Sampson shares how the devastating experience of losing collared elephants to an unexpected poaching threat lead to an improved understanding...

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article

Technical Difficulties: A Deployment Checklist

Alina Peter
In Alina Peter's and Kristen Snyder's contribution to the Technical Difficulties Editorial Series, you'll receive a practical checklist of factors and questions to consider at various stages of your conservation...

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article

Tech4Wildlife Leaders: Resolving Human-Giraffe Conflict

Owino Raymond
Read our interview with early career conservationist and CLP Future Conservationist Award recipient Owino Raymond, who is working with camera traps along the Kenya-Somalia border to understand and reduce conflict...

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article

Margo Gadfly: A Versatile Wildlife Deterrent

Margo Supplies
Margo Supplies is excited to introduce the WILDLABS community to the Margo Gadfly, a new tool tested for its ability to prevent human-wildlife conflict! Read about how this hardware works, and how it protected livestock...

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discussion

Seismic detectors

Hello community, Is anyone familiar with, or using, seismic detection technology to prevent HWC? At WWF, we have been looking into the possibility of using devices with seismic...

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@NJayasinghe @Teun Good news folks - my proposal on geophone based IoT network to detect Elephant movements got selected as one of the 20 finalist for the ConX Tech Challenge. 

We're going to start developing our first prototype and looking forward to some exciting stuff ahead. Our plan is to explore the posibilities of using sensors like geophone, Accelerometers etc on detecting movements of elephants near villages.  

Please visit our project page for more details - https://conservationx.com/project/id/159/elesenseiotnetworkforhec

Thanks a lot for your support!

Nilaksha

Hi Nilaksha,

Congratulations! That is great news! Please do keep us posted on how it goes and do let us know if you need varied field sites in which to test the tools. @Teun , how's your prototype coming along?

Best,

Nilanga

Dear all, any update on this subject?

 

All the best.

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discussion

Warn elephants using infrasound?

Hello, I was wondering if there has been any research into using infrasound to warn elephants of poachers in their proximity? For example if a poacher is detected (visually or...

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Good day Lily.

I stumbled upon this post of yours.
Have you been able to make any advancement on this topic, or get any feedback from anyone?

I have been asked a similar question by a group, looking at early warning systems for large mammals, like elephants, of possible danger situations.

On my side, it is still a very new project, however, my use case has more to do with the trains that kills the elephants, but we also have a use case for early warning systems to recognize poachers and early warning systems to intercept any possible threat.

So if you are in a position, and willing to share any information, I would like to find out more, if there has been any developments regarding this topic aon your side.

Kind regards 
​Mischa

Hi,

Generating infrasound is generally energy intensive and expensive.  You can google "infra-subwoofer" and despair at the prices!  But those are for audiophiles.  I came across a fan type speaker design a long time ago that I think can be adapted,  Another possibility is to use pyrotechnics to generate infrasound, but that would not be reusable and I suspect development will be even more of a headache.  An intriguing possibility is to use basically a fogger - - those noisy smoky fumigators -- but built to produce the lower frequency.

You should check out Smart Parks (https://www.smartparks.org/) and Hack the Poacher (https://www.hackthepoacher.com/). 

Also - 

Fazil, M., & Firdhous, M. (2018, December). IoT-enabled smart elephant detection system for combating human elephant conflict. In 2018 3rd International Conference on Information Technology Research (ICITR) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Shaffer, L. J., Khadka, K. K., Van Den Hoek, J., & Naithani, K. J. (2019). Human-elephant conflict: A review of current management strategies and future directions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 235.

That last paper is a nice overview of different methods, and they have a section on acoustic strategies.

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event

How do I strategically allocate drones for conservation?

WILDLABS Team
Our tenth and final Tech Tutor of Season 2 is Harvard University PhD candidate, Elizabeth Bondi, who tackled the question, "How do I strategically allocate drones for conservation?". Watch it on the WILDLABS Youtube...

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discussion

Audio play back device when elephant crop raids

Dear all,  As audio playback shows some results to deter elephants, we were considering using them for protecting crops (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301708132...

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I've worked on a similar project to try to scare lions away from bomas in Kenya that's pretty much a bunch of stuff from Adafruit rigged together with cheap marine speakers in an overly complicated custom case (picture is of previous generation, new generation in development). We also run LEDs to show various light displays. I imagine you could imitate a muzzle flash to deepen the illusion of gunfire. I'm also happy to discuss things (although I don't think I can match the technical expertise of Freaklabs).

Suraci et al. have published a few papers about the use of an automated behavioral response system for sound playback when triggered by a camera trap. Their methods (see supplementary materials) are entirely open source and I even commissioned an engineer to make a few for me. The only issue is that the MP3 players need a separate battery pack to keep them charged or need to be charged weekly, as the sound runs continuosly since there would otherwise be a delay between the camera trigger and the MP3 player being turned on. This could probably be fiddled with to suit your needs, if the previous options don't work out.

https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/2041-210X.12711  

We actually designed Boombox, the audio player shown above, based on the ABRS system by the Suraci paper and with Dr. Meredith Palmer. We made some optimizations on it since the paper advocates an approach to infer when the camera was triggered. We reverse engineered our camera traps and took the actual trigger signal from the trailcam PIR motion sensor. Later, we were contacted by one of the authors of the paper and he mentioned they had come to the same conclusion.

We built the MP3 playback system using a discrete MP3 decoder IC which allowed us more control over playback, power management, and we could pick out the output amplifier to drive the speakers. We knew we would need to put the system to sleep and immediately play sounds on wakeup which most players aren't suited to do.

We also made it so that it's solar rechargeable with lithium-ion batteries so that it could last in the field as long as possible. Unfortunately we couldn't use that feature because there's no point in outlasting the trailcams. But for this application, it seems we might be able to use the solar recharging functionality. 

We've volunteered for a possible TechTutors season 2 workshop on open source MP3 playback and recording with Arduino.  We're waiting to discuss it with Steph and Ellie. If this sounds interesting, please let us know.

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funding

Challenge: ElephantEdge

hackster.io
Protecting elephants from conservation's most pressing issues like poaching and human-wildlife conflict requires big, bold, and innovative solutions. Hackster.io, Smart Parks, Edge Impulse, Microsoft, and several other...

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