(BBC) – At first, the satellite images appear to be of grey blobs in a forest of green splotches – but, on closer inspection, those blobs are revealed as elephants wandering through the trees.
The breakthrough could allow up to 5,000 sq km of elephant habitat to be surveyed on a single cloud-free day.
“By doing this, we can train the machine to recognise small details that we wouldn’t be able to pick up with the naked eye.”
But this approach could vastly improve the monitoring of threatened elephant populations in habitats that span international borders, where it can be difficult to obtain permission for aircraft surveys.
“So being able to use the cutting-edge techniques for animal conservation is just really nice.”