At Save the Elephants’ (STE) research camp in northern Kenya, scientists are gaining insight into the lives of wild elephants by tracking them day and night using novel real-time technology. STE WildTracks (formerly known as the STE Tracking App), was built on decades of tracking wild African elephants, and is changing the way researchers and conservationists protect these charismatic animals.
Drawing data from EarthRanger, a real-time software solution, STE WildTracks allows users to visualise where elephants, rhinos or any other animal tracked through the system move. The movements are displayed to highlight not just where the animals go, but also the speed at which they are moving, and where they travel by day and night. By displaying animals in individual colours, the app encourages investigation into what is driving the individual decisions of each elephant.
Initially developed for elephants, the app has proved useful for locating any species being tracked. As a compact portable device, STE WildTracks can be used to track wildlife in the field, from the air, by car and on foot. With sophisticated data caching and refreshing, data can either be downloaded at HQ and accessed during the search, or refreshed in the field if a connection is available.
The combination of on-the-fly research and management tool and tracking platform has proved popular beyond elephants, and currently six other species visualise their data using the app. By rebranding as STE WildTracks, and releasing it with several new features, Save the Elephants aims to encourage wider use of its features with other species.
Read more about STE WildTracks here.