Leveraging Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife preservation helps to ensure Food Security and has proven positive effects on Public Health. Monitoring our National Parks and Wildlife reserves is expensive and subject to budgetary cuts
Protecting forests from deforestation and rebuilding forest habitats to preserve biodiversity aids in the carbon-sequestering process, provides new economic opportunities, and guards against erosion.
In addition, wildlife conservation promotes agricultural biodiversity, which plays an important role in building a secure, robust, and thriving food system. When resources and extensive habitat loss take place, as well as undocumented loss of species and massive soil erosion, research shows this process has negative impacts on nutrition, health and dietary diversity of some groups of society.
Another compelling benefit that comes from wildlife conservation is that these initiatives protect human health. Conservation International reports that “more than 50 percent of modern medicines and more than 90 percent of traditional medicines come from wild plants and animals.” These traditional medicines cannot be replaced easily by synthetic alternatives.
Moreover, a world that promotes healthy ecosystems and biodiversity provides crucial buffers between disease and humans. A number of studies have linked reduced diversity among mammal species and overall decreases in biodiversity to an increase in the transmission of animal-born diseases to humans.
In addition to this, healthy ecosystems and biodiversity regulate climate change and mitigate water and air pollution.
Collecting annotated data from videos taken by UAVs efficiently, and using these data to build datasets that can be used for learning and monitoring.
A network of UAVs in the hands of the general population can be leveraged, using a combination of gamification of the process of monitoring large areas and connecting all the drones (nodes) in a crowdsourced network that uses the principles of Massive multiplayer online role-playing games (or MMORPGs) developed in the late 1970s.
With the surge in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or 'drones.' We have both the opportunity to increase the reach and the efficiency of monitoring efforts. Furthermore, we can leverage the installed base of devices in the hands of hobbyists.