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Using AI Tech to Protect Africa’s Forest Elephants

In collaboration with Dutch tech start-up Hack the Planet, a team of British scientists at Stirling University has developed a new camera that could help protect elephants and other wildlife. The AI-powered device connects directly to satellites and sends real-time information to forest rangers or local villagers. Traditional instruments in this space are often hampered in remote locations by poor internet availability or having to collect recordings physically. During the pilot in Gabon, the researchers say, “camera systems took more than 800 photos in 72 days. 217 photos of elephants were taken. The AI model achieved an accuracy of 82% in recognizing elephants. Rangers received an alert from the system within seven minutes on average.” It’s estimated that forests cover up to 85% of Gabon’s total land area. The WCS says elephants promote healthy forests and their protection can have benefits for the climate as well as biodiversity.