Gunshot Detection Technology Could Help Save Endangered Species
Google Cloud and the Zoological Society of London have teamed up to create acoustic sensors that can record events up to 1km away and analyse gunshots, with the hopes that the technology will help prevent poaching.
Google Cloud and ZSL are currently testing sound sensing technology in Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon, and they believe it may help to protect endangered species.
The sensors that analyse sound are designed to add to camera traps as they will be able to detect noises and incidents that don’t happen nearby.
By using the acoustic sensors, that give 360 degrees of detection of noise up to 0.6 miles away, it is hoped that teams can defend animals and track poachers.
With a cost of just £50 per sensor, the technology will be able to track gunshots through machine learning and it will also help highlight areas where poachers frequently attempt to catch animals. This ability would greatly help teams protect the animals in the area.
Conservation technology lead at ZSL, Anthony Dancer, explained to the BBC:
Park staff can use [the information] to develop responses to those threats, planning where to deploy patrols in the areas and at the time of day where you most expect illegal activity.
This technology has been used before by US police, but it faced issues because of the noise of cities. As a result, the accuracy of data was compromised and it was eventually put out of use.
Nonetheless, many will hope that the sensors have greater success in the wild and help to shield some of the most endangered species in the world. If it does prove to be a success, then the ongoing fundraising will have made a lasting impact on how the rarest animals in nature are safeguarded.
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