AI cameras enable real-time tracking of threatened animal species
Despite all the conservation efforts around the world, we are still fighting a losing battle to protect the diversity of life on Earth. An estimated 150 to 200 species of life on our planet become extinct every day, as wildlife faces cumulative threats from poaching, habitat loss and climate change.
The application of technology to the protection of animal populations in the wild is now critical but knowing where animals are, where they are safe and how many remain is much more difficult than it sounds. As an upgrade to labour-intensive and costly ground surveys, LJMU found a new way of tracking animals in real-time using thermal infrared technology.
Following tests at Knowsley Safari to train the software to recognise different types of animals in different landscapes and terrains, the team is embarking on field tests with endangered species. We are now testing the technology with 10 leading conservation agencies. The Durrell Trust, in Madagascar used the system to record lemur densities and collected as much data in three 20-minute flights that previously required 24 weeks. Scaling-up this programme would increase survey efficiency 100-fold, the organisation said.
Dr Paul Chalmers