LeopardEye – Technology, Forensics, Communication

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Below is a brief overview of LeopardEye. Content is being added to our new look site through February as we finalize our collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC Nepal) for 2020. You can also read the latest blog post from WildTiger Coordinator Jack Kinross HERE as we develop Early Warning Systems (EWS) with LeopardEye as part of conflict mitigation work.

LeopardEye is the technical application for our monitoring systems. Using remote camera technology which operates in real time data transmission (dynamic) as well as traditional camera trap systems (passive), wildlife and human activity data can be gathered and analyzed according to the requirements of each case.

WildTiger uses different camera systems according to each situation. Cellular and wireless systems are sometimes combined with passive systems. We have been developing hardware best suited to the rugged conditions of Western Nepal and in collaboration with partners this is an evolving aspect of LeopardEye. Early Warning Systems (EWS) can be applied according to circumstance.

Another evolving element is forensic analysis using genetics. WildTiger works closely with Prajwol Manandhar (image below) of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) as he further develops DNA sequencing of the Indian leopard, panthera pardus fusca. Prajwol heads the Kathmandu Leopard Project which is the first genetic based survey of leopards in the region. In a joint initiative, CMDN and WildTiger successfully achieved the first individual identification of a serious conflict leopard with a DNA match obtained from the big cat and a human victim. 2020 will see further developments which we will update on.

A third evolving element of LeopardEye is enhancing local involvement in the communication of urgent information in highly affected conflict areas. EWS in the form of mass SMS transmissions has been used to help avoid conflict situations involving villagers and big cats as well as elephants. In economically challenged areas phones have been provided to ensure strong communications. Training as to what is relevant information is provided as part of Coexistence Strategies and Guidelines.

Further applying LeopardEye as part of community based monitoring in liaison with local and national authorities as well as partner is a major goal for 2020 based on the progress so far. We’ll update at this page as appropriate.

Another important application of LeopardEye is combating poaching and wildlife trafficking. We’ll have more on this in the new upcoming wildlife crime section scheduled with our online updates through January.