AI-Powered Camera Innovations Transform Tiger Conservation Efforts

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
AI-Powered Camera Innovations Transform Tiger Conservation Efforts

In a groundbreaking collaboration between Clemson University in South Carolina and a couple of NGOs, scientists are harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to protect both villagers and tigers from poachers. The so-called “TrailGuard” camera system is learned to swiftly identify tigers and relay images to park rangers or villagers. It is a cost-effective way to facilitate coexistence between people and wildlife.

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The AI cameras have proven highly effective. The new system spots tigers as close as 300 meters from the villages. It significantly minimizes false alarms that are often triggered by passing animals or falling leaves. This effort is part of a wider trend in wildlife surveillance that incorporates AI. Similar system is currently being used in Gabon for an early warning system for elephants. Teams in the Amazon are experimenting with equipment designed to detect the sounds of deforestation-related machinery like chainsaws and tractors.

The smart AI cameras are doing a great job, finding tigers really close to villages and catching poachers without lots of false alarms from animals or leaves. This idea is part of a bigger plan where AI helps watch wildlife. In Gabon, it’s used to check camera pictures and warn about elephants, and in the Amazon, they’re trying to hear machines like chainsaws and tractors that hurt the forest.

Tiger conservation is important as their habitats have been decimated across Asia. This has led to a drastic decline in their numbers. In India, their population was not even 1,500 in 2006. However, the figure has gradually improved to about 3,500. In the mid-20th century, India was home to an estimated 40,000 tigers.

Jonathan Palmer, head of conservation technology at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), said the potential of TrailGuard may lead to a broader application of AI in conservation.

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