The mission of the Ranger Campus Foundation is to protect wildlife by strengthening law enforcement in protected areas. They do so by developing and providing law enforcement training and e-learning for wildlife rangers. Through their fieldwork, RangerCampus has in-depth knowledge of, and experience with, the multitude of challenges that rangers face. We are therefore happy to announce that RangerCampus has become Field Partner of Sensing Clues Foundation!
Our joint aim is to strengthen the information position and operational capabilities of rangers. Where Sensing Clues and her technology-partners develop the required technologies, Ranger Campus helps us to identify technology requirements, organise field tests, provide us with first-hand ranger-feedback, and develop training materials where needed.
Growing up in South Africa the poaching of endangered species, like the rhino and elephant, is an issue close to my heart.” Said Francois le Roux, Terrene’s CEO and Co-Founder. “The work Sensing Clues is doing is quite interesting, and we are very excited to help them mitigate poaching.
Terrene began looking at using machine learning to catch poachers in 2016 and started development of RAPTRS (Rapid Anti-Poaching Technological Response System), which used audio analysis to detect poaching activities such as gunshots. However, because of the massive scale of the problem, there is no “one size fits all” solution, so Terrene began looking to form partnerships. They discovered Sensing Clues and their extensive partner network, which Terrene now hopes to become a part of. The flexible nature of the partner network allows the optimal solution to be developed for each situation.
A joint collaboration between The Prusten Project and Sensing Clues is underway to help reduce human-tiger conflicts. Using recently developed sensor technology called SERVAL, the two organizations are working to develop a sound-based tiger monitoring and early warning system to reduce conflict in tiger range-land countries. The sensors are also capable of recognizing gunshots and chainsaws in real-time providing a key tool in the fight against illegal wildlife activities.
The DataLab is a meeting space and hands-on laboratory for everyone interested in Data Science, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence. A space to experiment, to develop and challenge new ideas.
Working together with professionals, scientists, and students, Sensing Clues uses the DataLab as incubator for data driven solutions for the protection of wildlife.
Curious? Below are two of the projects we are working on:
Sound Event Recognition for Vigilance and Localisation (SERVAL)
On Friday 7th July 2017 JADS will host the first-ever Wildlife Hackathon. During a full day of data- and brain-crunching activity, no less than 50 students and two data science teams of KPN and DIKW will dedicate themselves to find ways in which data can save some of the most threatened species in Africa.
The competing teams will be presented with two challenges. One presented by the Resource Ecology Group of Wageningen University. The other by Sensing Clues.
The challenge presented by Wageningen University is aimed at the preservation of rhino’s, by finding correlations between the time-spatial distribution and movement of zebra herds versus the presence of poachers wandering through the park. The brilliance of this approach is that the rhino’s do not have to be equipped with radio-beacons, which are easy to detect by professional poachers.
The challenge presented by Sensing Clues is aimed at reducing the conflict between humans and elephants. By accurately recognising the sounds of approaching elephants, villagers can be warned in time, thus preventing deadly confrontations (see also: SERVAL sensor). In this hackathon the students will be challenged to outperform the classifier created by Hugo, our most experienced data scientist.
This unique event is the result of a close collaboration between JADS and a Game Reserve in South Africa. Journalists interested in joining the event may contact Patricia Beks (p.beks at tue.nl / tel. + 31 (0) 6 31 242 757).
In 90 seconds this video shows you how the SERVAL can be used to detect threats, such as poachers or illegal loggers.
Another promising application of SERVAL is the mitigation of the human-wildlife conflict. Habitats of elephants shrink, seducing them to roam into the land and villages of farmers living near nature reserves. This is causing serious trouble. Villagers loose their crop, or worse, get killed. In retaliation, elephants get poisoned or shot. By identifying and localising elephants before they enter the human territories, rangers may be in time to keep both the villagers and the elephants safe.
For this project, we are working closely together with:
Karol Piczak of the Warsaw University of Technology,
Shermin da Silva of Trunks & Leaves,
Angela Stoeger-Horwath of the Dept. Cognitive Biology, Vienna University,
Matthias Zeppelzauer of the St. Pölten University of Applied Science,
Peter Wrege of the Elephant Listening Project at Cornell University, and
Blaise Droz, independent nature journalist and videast.