Students make app to track wild animals on prowl

Students make app to track wild animals on prowl

Wild animal alert

 Less than a week ago, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy exhorted forest department officials to find a scientific solution to tackle wild elephants wreaking havoc in human settlements abutting the woods.

Now, the department may have just that solution in the form of a smartphone app that gives citizens a heads-up when wild animals venture into human habitations.

The app is designed in such a way that it rings out an alarm only if the animal on the prowl is from the wild.

Six students from CMRIT college have developed the Android app Fauna T during a hackathon based on a problem statement given by the Ministry of environment and Forest earlier this year.

The college said the app has two modes of functioning: marking and patrolling. The marking works real-time to record the field level information in the forest during patrolling.

Aided by GPS coordinates, the app can record wildlife sightings, deaths, wildlife crime, ecological observations and unauthorised human presence.

It also produces maps of the patrol routes taken by the forest guards to get a comprehensive view of the area. Building on this data over a period of time would help track animal movements besides checking poaching, said Jhansi Rani P, professor and HOD, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.   

Speaking to DH, she said sensors are installed in villages bordering forests to capture animal incursions. The app is programmed to identify the animal species and send a heads-up in case of danger. “It can also capture intruders in the forest and minimise manual patrolling,” Prof Jhansi Rani said.

Every time forest officials take a new path into the woods, the tracker hooked to the app would map the new terrain and help them retrace it.

“This (mapping) could be done even without GPS,” the professor explained.

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