Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

TrailGuard AI: Revolutionizing Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Poaching Efforts


TrailGuard AI, a product of the collaborative efforts between the NGO RESOLVE and the social enterprise Nightjar, has earned a spot in TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023, an esteemed recognition that highlights 200 revolutionary innovations transforming our world. This unique camera-alert system is the only invention in the AI category that focuses on wildlife conservation.

TrailGuard AI combines advanced AI algorithms, sturdy hardware, and flexible communication protocols to provide real-time alerts for objects identified by AI. It plays a crucial role in identifying potential threats and targeted wildlife species on trails that connect protected areas or border human settlements. This makes it an essential tool for anti-poaching efforts, monitoring endangered wildlife, and preventing human-wildlife conflict.

The goal of TrailGuard AI is to prevent poachers from killing wildlife or to detect conflict-prone wildlife species early enough to avoid crop damage or livestock predation. At present, TrailGuard AI is operational in over 25 protected areas across Asia, Africa, and South America.
Recent deployments in India’s Kanha-Pench tiger conservation landscape and the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve have resulted in successful arrests of poachers and prevention of human-tiger conflicts, as outlined in our latest peer-reviewed article in BioScience. In collaboration with local Forest Departments and communities, TrailGuard AI is actively tracking elephant movements in West Bengal, effectively reducing human-elephant conflict.

Furthermore, the technology is set to be deployed in Indonesia to enhance biodiversity monitoring efforts and is planned for further deployment in Asia and Africa in 2024. TrailGuard AI is produced in India, with large-scale production planned for early 2024 to cater to increasing demand.
“TrailGuard AI offers multiple advances: long battery life; embedded AI able to detect a number of key wildlife species; and multiple communications pathways allowing transmission of images from remote locations. In fact, it’s the first wildlife monitoring technology designed by biologists for biologists,” said Dr. Eric Dinerstein, conservation biologist and CEO, Nightjar.

“TrailGuard AI sends real-time alerts from the camera and communications unit to end users in under thirty seconds. This is perfect to trigger a response by designated authorities and respond to human-wildlife conflict near villages, which is emerging as the major wildlife management problem in Asia. We hope to scale our system quickly to work with conservation groups and government agencies determined to find a path to coexistence between people and endangered wildlife. Our low-cost technology is a promising solution for India now, and really anywhere,” said Piyush Yadav, Lead Engineer and Head Asia, Nightjar

“This award is the culmination of years of hard work and extensive field trials in Africa and India. Despite occasional setbacks and the challenges posed by solving the problems of creating an extremely low-powered device, integrating AI, and achieving good connectivity in remote environments, we have something unique to offer the conservation community that can keep endangered species safe,” said Steve Gulick, inventor of TrailGuard AI, Chief Innovations Officer, Nightjar.