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Faster Response, Smarter Decisions: How Sentinel and EarthRanger Are Empowering Conservationists to Save Wildlife

Sentinel's satellite-connected cameras and AI deliver game-changing intelligence for conservation efforts.

Using EarthRanger on Earth, an Osa Conservancy member gets intel from Sentinel to protect wildlife.

For decades, conservationists have relied on camera traps, a revolutionary tool that has transformed wildlife research. However, despite their immense value, traditional camera traps have limitations. Retrieving data from physical devices spread across vast landscapes can take significant resources and personnel time and doesn’t allow for immediate notification of events that require swift response such as threats from poaching, eradicating invasive species, or preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases.

Conservation X Labs' Sentinel – a groundbreaking smart camera and monitoring system equipped with AI and satellite, cellular, and LoRa connectivity – ushers in a new era of near real-time conservation. When paired with EarthRanger, the result is a powerful management system that provides immediate alerts and helps teams coordinate and implement appropriate responses. 

Despite the undeniable value of traditional camera traps, the prolonged analysis process has consistently been a source of frustration for conservationists. With Sentinel’s unique capabilities, this is no longer the case. Trips to often remote locations to swap memory cards and manually sort data are reduced. Instead, Sentinel integrates devices like trail cameras with advanced AI to provide intelligent, fast insights for immediate action. 

"The ability to drop a camera anywhere in the world is a game-changer for conservation," said Jes Lefcourt, Director of EarthRanger. "Whether it's to treat an injured animal or prevent a security incident, Sentinel allows field personnel to have a virtual presence anywhere, no matter how remote."

The integration of Sentinel-connected devices into EarthRanger enables quicker and more accurate decision-making. For instance, if a camera trap captures an image of an animal with a snare around its leg, EarthRanger can display this photo alongside the real-time locations of all rangers on a single screen. With this unified view, conservationists can instantly pinpoint the closest rangers and dispatch them to investigate the potential snare and assist the animal if needed.

Conservation X Labs’ Henrik Cox helps researchers from Los Amigos in Peru’s Amazon deploy Sentinel.

With the ability to train many small, custom AI models with on-the-edge deployment capacity, Sentinel is helping conservationists in a more targeted manner. One example is Sentinel’s deployment in Florida to detect Felineleukomyelopathy (or FLM) in panthers and bobcats. A neurological disorder that affects these cats’ spinal cords, FLM causes balance, strength, and gait issues. As the video shows below, this often means the cats cannot walk without a substantial limp or are forced to walk slowly and gingerly. In more extreme cases, they’re unable to take more than a few steps before collapsing to the ground. Once sick, these compromised cats become much more prone to starvation, predation, and injuries. Through Sentinel’s onboard AI, Florida officials are starting to gather crucial data on FLM’s prevalence, transmission, and effects to better understand and protect an already fragile population.

"At Conservation X Labs, we've always envisioned a future where monitoring tools act as true partners in conservation,” said Henrik Cox, Head of Product. “Integrating Sentinel with EarthRanger is helping to make AI technologies accessible and scalable for all conservationists, particularly those in remote locations who could benefit the most.”

As conservationists leverage the power of Sentinel-connected devices within EarthRanger, the benefits of this partnership have become increasingly evident. By bridging the gap between data collection and actionable insights, this collaboration empowers conservationists to protect wildlife more efficiently and effectively than ever before. With over 200 devices deployed across seven countries and 45,000-plus insights issued in the past 12 months, Sentinel’s tracking of elusive species in dense forests and monitoring of wildlife corridors in remote regions is changing how we protect animals – now, and for future generations.