Research and development

 

We’re constantly striving to develop better tools to help protect endangered species, and thus monitor the health of our biodiversity. For the most robust and reliable monitoring, it’s best to use a range of different tools. Each has strengths in different ways and together they help us create a complete picture of environmental health. Within our WildTrack Specialist Group we have expertise in a wide range of non-invasive and community-friendly tools, including footprint identification technology (FIT) using natural substrate or track plates, acoustics, camera-traps, eDNA and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). 

We’re currently focusing particular attention on enabling a user to collect data from a mobile device or a drone, feed those data to our AI pipeline for inference, and have the inference be relayed in real-time back to the users. At the simplest level this could enable you to take a photo of a footprint and get a Species ID back. At the most sophisticated level you could identify an individual animal from a series of footprints along a trail, it’s age and sex, and know who is was with, and if it was under threat from poachers or human-wildlife conflict of another kind. It will be a powerful force in conservation!

Conservation from the ground up! Looking for cheetah footprints..

Our current research objectives include the development of our AI analytical pipeline for automated ID of footprints and trails, new statistical techniques on our morphometrics platform, building new citizen-science portals and interfaces for a wide range of users with particular focus on indigenous communities, including a dedicated WildTrackAI app (expected release June-July 2022) to augment data collection, and building on-board AI capabilities on drones as edge devices.

rhino prints along a dirt road in Namibia

Could you help us?

WildTrack is a non-profit organization offering free use of our technology to help our partner conservation projects monitor endangered species.  We rely on grants, partners, donations, and volunteers like you to allow us to expand our work. Please consider donating or volunteering your time to help us grow!

We’re currently looking for volunteers who could offer 5 hours a week with expertise in the following fields:

Front and back-end web developers with Azure platform, Python/Flask and Mongo DB expertise

Database curation

UI/UX  for our web interfaces

Educational and citizen-science materials and design

Social media management

Fundraising

Grant-writing

If you are interested in partnering or volunteering with us please contact us here.

 

 

 

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