Emerging Tech / Feed

Technology is changing and evolving faster than ever, and as it does, our community members are looking for the next big thing to revolutionize their conservation tech work. To chat about your favorite new tools that are just emerging in the field and discover innovations you haven't yet heard of, join this group!


Mass Detection of Wildlife Snares Using Airborne Synthetic Radar

Mass Detection of Wildlife Snares Using Airborne Synthetic RadarFor the last year my colleauges Prof. Mike Inggs (Radar - Electrical Engineering, Unviversity of Cape Town) and...

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Thank you so much for your support. I am finding it really difficult to find the funding for the initial development. We need lots of engineering time to refine our detection and trial it in ever more complex habitats. We really need money for a well-qualified electronic engineer competent in signal processing to work on this full-time as my PhD student, has to hold down a full-time job as Radar lead for a satellite company.

Happy to help out with the processing of the SAR images and building a model on top of it. 

Hi @DaveGaynor regarding funding, have you reached out to any lodges? I know that snaring is rife in the Manyaleti ... maybe some of the lodges in the Sabi Sands would be interested in helping you with your goal? 

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Technology for Environmental Governance in Kenya

Has anyone encountered any environmental project or initiative that has utilized technology to promote governance in Kenya? Please share some examples. Thank you.

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Hello @nyokabi great question! What I know of is the following, hope it's helpful:

  1. WildlifeDirect's “Eyes in the Courtroom” project, which monitors wildlife crime cases in court to inform and support improvements to environmental law and prosecution. Think it utilizes some sort of app software.
  2. MIKE


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ChatGPT for conservation

Hi, I've been wondering what this community's thoughts are on ChatGPT? I was just having a play with it and asked:"could you write me a script in python that loads photos and...

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In my experience, ChatGPT-4 performs significantly better than version 3.5, especially in terms of contextual understanding. However, like any AI model, inaccuracies cannot be completely eliminated. I've also seen a video showing that Gemini appears to excel at literature reviews, though I haven't personally tested it yet. Here's the link to the video:

While GPT3.5 is good for some activities, GPT-4 and GPT4-turbo are much better. Anthropic Claude is also very good, on a par with GPT4 for many tasks. As someone else has mentioned, the key is in the prompt you use, though chatGPT is continually being extended to allow more contextual information to be included, for example external files that have been uploaded previously. Code execution and image generation are also possible with the paid version of chatGPT, and the latest models include data up to the end of 2023 (I think). You can also include calls to openAI or other APIs programatically to include these in your workflows for assisting with a variety of tasks.
Regarding end results - as always, we're responsible for whatever outputs are ultimately published/shared etc. 
For Conservation Evidence - you could try making your own GPT (chatGPT assistant) that can be published/shared using your own evidence base and prompt that should be well grounded and provide good responses (I should think). But don't use 3.5 for that, IMO.

Undoubted things will quickly evolve from just "straight" ChatGPTn, BARD, ClaudeAI, etc "standard" models, to more specialized Retrieval Augmentation Generation (RAG) , where facts from authoritative sources and rules are supplied as context for the LLM to summarize in its response. You can direct ChatGPT and BARD: "Your response must be based on the reference sections provided" up to a few K of tokens.  A huge amount of work is going into properly indexing reference materials in order to supply context to the reference models.  Folks like FAO and CGIAR are indexing all their agricultural knowledge to feed the standard ones with location, crop, livestock, etc specialty "knowledge" to provide farmers automated advice via mobile phones, etc. I can totally see the same for such mundane things as "how do I ... using ArcMAP or QGIS?" purely based on the vast amount of documentation and tutorials. Google, ChatGPT, etc do a really good job already; this is just totally focusing its response to the body of knowledge known in advance to be relevant.

I would highly recommend folks do some searching on  "LLM RAG" - that's what going nuts now across the board.

Then there's stuff  I like to call "un-SQL" ... unstructured query language .. that will take free-form queries to form SQL queries, with supporting visualization code.



As far as writing and evaluating proposals, I saw a paper on how summarization of public review forms are being developed in several cities. 
see: ""

And that's just the standard LLMs; super-specialized LLMs based on Facebook Llama are being built purely based on domain-specific bodies of dialog - medical, etc.  LOTS of Phds to be done.

I think what will be critical in all this are strong audit trails and certification mechanisms to gain trust. Especially when it comes to deceptive simple terms like "best" 


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CollarID: multimodal wearable sensor system for wild and domesticated dogs

Hi Everyone! I (and my team) are new to the WildLabs network so we'd like to post an early-stage project we've been working on to get some feedback!  SummaryThe...

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Hi Patrick, 

This is so cool, thanks for sharing! It's also a perfect example of what we were hoping to capture in the R&D section of the inventory - I've created a new entry for #CollarID so it's discoverable and so we can track how it evolves across any mentions in different posts/discussions that come up on WILDLABS. This thread appears on the listing, and I'll make you three the contacts for it too. But please do go in and update any of the info there as well! 


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Drop-deployed HydroMoth

Hi all, I'm looking to deploy a HydroMoth, on a drop-deployed frame, from a stationary USV, alongside a suite of marine chemical sensors, to add biodiversity collection to our...

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Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your advice, this is really helpful!

I'm planning to use it in a seagrass meadow survey for a series of ~20 drops/sites to around 30 m, recording for around 10 minutes each time, in Cornwall, UK.

At this stage I reckon we won't exceed 30 m, but based on your advice, I think this sounds like not the best setup for the surveys we want to try.

We will try the Aquarian H1a, attached to the Zoom H1e unit, through a PVC case. This is what Aquarian recommended to me when I contacted them too.

Thanks for the advice, to be honest the software component is what I was most interested in when it came to the AudioMoth- is there any other open source software you would recommend for this?

Best wishes,


Hey Sol, 

No problem at all. Depending on your configuration, the Audiomoth software would have to work on a PCB with an ESP32 chip which is the unit on the audiomoth/hydromoth, so you would have to make a PCB centered around this chip. You could mimic the functionality of the audiomoth software on another chip, like on a raspberry pi with python's pyaudio library for example. The problem you would have is that the H1A requires phantom power, so it's not plug and play. I'm not too aware with the H1e, but maybe you can control the microphone through the recorder that is programmable through activations by the RPi (not that this is the most efficient MCU for this application, but it is user friendly). A simpler solution might be to just record continuously and play a sound or take notes of when your 10 min deployment starts. I think it should last you >6 hours with a set of lithium energizer batteries. You may want to think about putting a penetrator on the PVC housing for a push button or switch to start when you deploy. They make a few waterproof options. 

Just somethign else that occured to me, but if you're dropping these systems, you'll want to ensure that the system isn't wobbling in the seagrass as that will probably be all you will hear on the recordings, especially if you plan to deploy shallower. For my studies in Curacao, we aim to be 5lbs negative, but this all depends on your current and surface action. You might also want to think about the time of day you're recording biodiversity in general. I may suggest recording the site for a bit (a couple days or a week) prior to your study to see what you should account for (e.g. tide flow/current/anthropogenic disturbance) and determine diel patterning of vocalizations you are aiming to collect if subsampling at 10 minutes. 



Hi Sol,

If the maximum depth is 30m, it would be worth experimenting with HydroMoth in this application especially if the deployment time is short. As Matt says, the air-filed case means it is not possible to accurately calibrate the signal strength due to the directionality of the response. For some applications, this doesn't matter. For others, it may.

Another option for longer/deeper deployments would be an Aquarian H2D hydrophone which will plug directly into AudioMoth Dev or AudioMoth 1.2 (with the 3.5mm jack added). You can then use any appropriately sized battery pack.

If you also connect a magnetic switch, as per the GPS board, you can stop and start recording from outside the housing with the standard firmware.


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WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) for threatened Andean water frogs

In our project awarded with the "2024 WILDLABS Awards", we will develop the first Underwater Passive Acoustic Monitoring (UPAM) program to assess the conservation status and for...

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This is so cool @Mauricio_Akmentins - congrats and look forward to seeing your project evolve!

Congratulations! My first hydromoth was just arrived yesterday and so excited! Looking forward for the update from your project!!!

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Introducing The Inventory!

The Inventory is your one-stop shop for conservation technology tools, organisations, and R&D projects. Start contributing to it now!

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This is fantastic, congrats to the WildLabs team! Look forward to diving in.
Hi @JakeBurton,thanks for your great work on the Inventory!Would it be possible to see or filter new entries or reviews?Greetings from Austrian forest,Robin 
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 We are incredibly thankful to WILDLABS and Arm for selecting the MothBox for the 2024 WILDLABS Awards.  The MothBox is an automated light trap that attracts and...

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Already an update from @hikinghack

Yeah we got it about as bare bones as possible for this level of photo resolution and duration in the field. The main costs right now are:


Pi- $80

Pijuice -$75

Battery - $85

64mp Camera - $60

which lands us at $300 already. But we might be able to eliminate that pijuice and have fewer moving parts, and cut 1/4 of our costs! Compared to something like just a single logitech brio camera that sells for $200 and only gets us like 16mp, we are able to make this thing as cheap as we could figure out! :)

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Technology Trends that Would Drive Business Innovation in 2024

The rapidly evolving digital landscape and its fusion with business operations has given rise to a new buzzword: Digital Transformation. Therefore, there’s been an urgent imperative for organizations to adopt digital technologies to stay competitive. The link provides insights into technological advancements that organizations should embrace


WILDLABS AWARDS 2024 - TimeLord: A low-cost, low-power and low-difficulty timer board to control battery-powered devices

Hi everyone,@Alasdair from Arribada Initiative and I are so pleased to announce our TimeLord project as one of the lucky winners of this year's WILDLABS Awards. What is TimeLord...

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Thanks @Freaklabs, I think you'll really enjoy getting involved with this too as we're looking for input from makers in the community to get the most from the approach and to capture features and usability ideas from a large number of people.

I've a new modular drop-off tag build using @Rob_Appleby's original SensorDrop board that I think would be great for this project too to see if we can drop different compartments, or do various different timed events with the one TimeLord board.

Most importantly, we have to make it play a MIDI version of the DoctorWho theme song when you arm the device. That has to be the #1 feature if you ask me!


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Blind Spots in Conservation Tech Management in Remote Landscapes: Seeking Your Input

Hello Everyone,I wanted to discuss something that's been on my mind since I started working in frontline conservation. Coming from the art+tech scene and being a maker myself, I'...

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Hi @lucianofoglia 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community. What you've touched on resonates with a number of users and developers (looking at you @Rob_Appleby) who share similar concerns and are keen to address these issues.

As a beliver in open sourcing conservation technologies, to mitigate issues you've noted (maintenance of technologies / solutions, repairability, technical assistance to name but a few), really the only way to achieve this in my eyes is through the promotion of openness to enable a wide range of both technical and non-technical users to form the pool of skills needed to react to what you have stated. If they can repair a device, or modify it easily, we can solve the waste issue and promote reusability, but first they need access to achieve this and commerical companies typically shy away from releasing designs to protect against their IP that they keep in house to sell devices / solutions. 

I would think for an organisation to achieve the same the community would need to help manufacturers and developers open and share hardware designs, software, repairability guides etc, but the reality today is as you have described.

One interesting conversation is around a kitemark, i.e a stamp of approval similar to the Open Source Hardware Association's OSHWA Certification), but as it's not always hardware related, the kitemark could cover repairability (making enclosure designs open access, or levels of openness to start to address the issue). Have a look at for more info. I spent some time discussing an Open IoT Kitemark with  back in 2020 with similar values as you have described -

You may want to talk more about this at the upcoming Conservation Optimism Summit too. 

Happy to join you on your journey :)

Alasdair (Arribada)

Hi @Alasdair 
Great to hear from you! Thanks for the comment and for those very useful links (very interesting). And for letting @Rob_Appleby know. I can't wait to hear from her. 

Open source is my preference as well. And it's a good idea. But, already developing the tech in house is a step ahead from what would be the basic functional application of an organization that could manage the tech for a whole country/region. 

I have witnessed sometime how tech have not added much to the efficiency of local teams but instead being an tool to promote the work of NGOs. And because of that then innovative technologies are not developed much further that a mere donation (from the local team's perspective). But for that tech to prove efficient, a lot more work on the field have to be done after. The help of people with expertise in the front line with lots of time to dedicate to the cause is essential (this proves too expensive for local NGOs and rarely this aspect is consider).

I imagine this is something that needs to come from the side closer to the donors and International NGOs. Ideally only equipment can be lend within a subscription model and not just donated without accountability on how that tech is use. Effectively the resources can be distributed strategically over many projects. Allowing to tech to be repurposed. 

Sorry that I step down the technical talk, the thing is that sometimes the simplest things can make the most impact.

It would be good to know if any in the community that have spent considerable time working in conservation in remote regions, and have observed similar trends. 

Thanks! Luciano 

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Announcing the WILDLABS Awards 2024 awardees!

After a long application review and finalisation process, we are thrilled to finally announce the winners of the WILDLABS Awards 2024! 

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Discuss with @Andrew_Hill and his team about their project!
Discuss with @JeremyFroidevaux and @DarrylCox about their project!
Discuss with @Hubertszcz and his team about their project!  
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The Variety Hour: 2024 Lineup

You’re invited to the WILDLABS Variety Hour, a monthly event that connects you to conservation tech's most exciting projects, research, and ideas. We can't wait to bring you a whole new season of speakers and...

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BirdWeather | PUC

Hi Everyone,I just found out about this site/network!I wanted to introduce myself - I'm the CEO of a little company called Scribe Labs.  We're the small team behind...

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I love the live-stream pin feature!

Hi Tim, I just discovered your great little device and about to use it for the first time this weekend. Would love to be directly in touch since we are testing it out as an option to recommend to our clients :) Love that it includes Australian birds! Cheers Debbie

Hi @timbirdweather I've now got them up and running and winding how I can provide feedback on species ID to improve the accuracy over time. It would be really powerful to have a confirmation capability when looking at the soundscape options to confirm which of the potential species it actually is or confirm it is neither to help develop the algorithms.

Also, is it possible to connect the PUC to a mobile hotspot to gather data for device that isn't close to wifi? And have it so that it can detect either wifi or hotspot when in range? Thanks!

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Watch Now: Scaling Innovation in Conservation, WILDLABS at World Wildlife Day 2024

WILDLABS was honoured to represent the global conservation technology sector on the world stage, joining the World Wildlife Day celebrations at the UN. As an invited speaker, Stephanie O'Donnell used her talk to share...

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This was so damn cool to listen to @StephODonnell ! When it comes to data: accessibility, collaboration and interoperability. That underlying challenge statement made something...
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