Tech roped in to save African jumbos from scarcity


Akani Chauke, Caj News

Date Published
A collaboration between a global technology company and a South African non-profit organisation is a major boost in efforts to protect the endangered African elephant.

Dell Technologies and Elephants Alive have teamed up for the conservation effort.

This collaboration involves the deployment of the former’s mobile workstations which will facilitate field research in the conservation of the declining species.

Elephants Alive conducts research on elephants and their movements in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in South Africa.

The Dell workstations will provide the processing power to obtain data-driven insights and generate detailed maps, which are generated by software that runs on the precision machine.

The maps show elephant movements which help researchers keep track of trailblazing elephants and provide much-needed data to ensure their survival.

In the field, Elephants Alive researchers rely on the Dell Latitude Rugged workstations to record data and take vast amounts of high-quality photos – up to 800 per day—for elephant identification.

Dr Michelle Henley, co-founder, CEO and Principal Researcher at Elephants Alive, said using innovative technology in conservation research allows them to be more efficient in their data collection and analysis.

“By evolving from hand drawn images to high-definition photographs, digitising the identification of elephants allows us to scale our efforts in the field to protect more animals,” Henley said.

With a 97 percent decline in the African elephant over the past 100 years, it is imperative to save the big animal.

Doug Woolley, Managing Director, Dell Technologies South Africa said the company was continually developing innovative technology to deliver a simple, seamless experience to users.

“Our collaboration with Elephants Alive shows how technology can accelerate conservation initiatives like identifying and tracking African elephants,” Woolley said.