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AI cameras to curb poaching in Madhya Pradesh

Why is it in the news?

  • Wildlife officials in the Kanha-Pench corridor in Madhya Pradesh are testing a new camera trap system that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor wildlife and detect potential poachers.
    • This system, known as the TrailGuard AI camera-alert system, is designed to be inconspicuous and can be placed discreetly in the foliage of trees.
    • It is slim, shaped like a pen, and wired to a communications unit about the size of a notepad.

More about the news

  • The TrailGuard AI camera system is equipped with embedded software that can be programmed to capture images of specific species, including humans or animals of interest, such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs.
  • Unlike traditional camera traps, which capture images of any motion-triggered activity, the TrailGuard system can send pictures within 30 seconds if it’s within the range of cellphone towers. If out of range, it can rely on a longer protocol, taking 3-10 minutes.
  • Researchers and developers tested 12 TrailGuard AI camera-alert systems in the Kanha-Pench corridor and seven systems in the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
    • Notifications of tiger presence were received via email or push notification within 30 to 42 seconds after detections, marking the first-ever transmission of wild tiger detections using embedded AI.
  • India’s tiger population has been increasing, but this has led to more man-animal conflicts, including attacks on livestock and humans, as well as poaching.
    • The TrailGuard system has proven effective in tracking tigers and capturing images of poachers, leading to arrests.
  • The product was developed by RESOLVE, an international non-profit, and utilizes Intel’s Myriad chip for AI processing.
    • The embedded AI technology optimizes power consumption by transmitting only images of interest to forest officials, enhancing its longevity and accuracy in capturing wildlife images.
  • There are plans to incorporate the TrailGuard AI camera system in other tiger reserves to further protect wildlife and combat poaching.

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