Choosing any modern challenge, the idea of technology always comes to mind—whether for data collection, design interventions, or the solution itself. The same goes for the challenges facing nature conservation.
If we look back at the history of conservation, technology has played a key role in telling us the magnitude and urgency of the problem and giving us the tools to mitigate it. Without technology, we will not be able to identify threats such as climate change and biodiversity loss, although some might argue that overuse of technology presents challenges. Either way, technology will play a key role if we need to find solutions to the challenges of the new age.
Nature Conservation Technology
Conserving nature requires understanding the biological aspects of wildlife, ecosystems, and all aspects of human behavior.Technology provided An important tool for collecting data. Advances in hardware and computing power have opened up avenues of possibilities that were a dream a decade ago.
Researchers are now able to reach inaccessible areas, such as the seafloor and deep caves, to observe behavior remotely and, very importantly, to analyze large and complex datasets.technology also provides Tools to intervene to make an impact.
Camera traps have developed conservation spaces in a number of ways. They are autonomous cameras that trigger themselves to capture pictures of warm animals moving in front of them.Then use these images for estimated population target species.
Tiger population estimates in India may be the largest tiger population estimation exercise in the world. Cameras, along with artificial intelligence, are used to identify poachers and illegal loggers, and to monitor wildlife, especially tigers and leopards, that may enter human settlements. In India, Corbett Tiger Reserve has installed a suite of cameras ranging from thermal to visual to monitor fires, illegal human activity and the movement of wildlife such as elephants and tigers.
Drones and Rovers
Other hardware that has been heavily used recently are drones and underwater rovers.Drones are not only used for monitor and mapping exercise but also used for spot wildlife. In India, the use of drones is limited due to dense canopies and flight time constraints. Underwater rovers are expensive and have limitations that limit their use, especially in India.
geographic information system
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have revolutionized conservation efforts. GIS creates, manages, analyzes and maps all kinds of data. It provides the foundation for any type of mapping and analysis of complex multi-layered data.
For example, satellite data from the past five years can be used to understand how land use and land cover have changed over time. It can map ecosystem degradation rates, identify priority areas, and map animal movement patterns.
Conservation genetics uses cutting-edge techniques to understand taxonomy, study extinctions, and understand population connectivity and corridors. It also helps to understand the randomness of the environment, such as fire and low temperatures.
Forensic genetics can play a key role in tackling wildlife crime. Another major contribution of genetics is the design of management practices for ecosystems at the large landscape level.
The benefits of technology
The list of technology applications is long and growing. Machine learning, data mining, and computer vision bring understanding that was not possible before.
Technology helps reduce inaccuracies and enables exploration in inaccessible areas. It helps us make informed choices and evidence-based interventions. Technology gives us the tools to adapt, reduce time, and improve our chances of success.
Technology is at the heart of The Habitats Trust. All our shows are enhanced by it. We are working in computer vision to better understand species, acoustically monitor elusive species, test the use of underwater rovers, use satellite imagery and geographic information systems for land-use and land-cover mapping, and more.
While technology is not a magic wand, it does offer hope for successfully addressing some of our most pressing challenges, including climate change and biodiversity loss, which directly affect our economies and well-being.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)