3D Printing and IoT in Wildlife Conservation

Liam Poole

3D Printing and IoT in Wildlife Conservation

In the field of wildlife conservation, there is a growing use of 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to revolutionize the protection of natural habitats and species. These innovative methods are being employed to monitor and track animals, gather important data, and combat illegal poaching. Through the use of 3D printed eggs embedded with sensors and GPS trackers, vultures and turtles are being protected, while drones and other IoT devices are being utilized to study and protect various wildlife species. The integration of 3D printing and IoT in wildlife conservation is proving to be a game-changer in the fight against extinction and the preservation of biodiversity.

3D Printed Eggs for Vulture Conservation

At the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) in Britain, conservation efforts for endangered vulture species have received a cutting-edge boost. Introducing the innovative use of 3D printed vulture eggs, known as EggDuinos, to aid in vulture conservation. These synthetic eggs are designed to closely mimic the weight and texture of real eggs, ensuring they remain undetected by the vultures. Embedded with sensors, EggDuinos are strategically placed in vulture nests during the incubation process, offering valuable insights to conservationists.

The sensors within the 3D printed eggs provide crucial data on temperature, humidity, and movement, enabling a deeper understanding of the incubation needs of vultures in captivity. By closely monitoring these metrics, conservationists can create optimal incubation conditions that promote the successful hatching and survival of vulture chicks.

This ground-breaking technology not only benefits vulture species in captivity but also holds promise for broader avian conservation efforts. By expanding the utilization of 3D printed eggs and sensors, other bird species can be similarly supported and protected through accurate monitoring of incubation conditions.

IoT Devices for Wildlife Monitoring

The use of IoT devices, such as drones and camera traps, is revolutionizing the way wildlife is monitored and studied. These advanced technologies provide valuable insights into the behavior, population, and migration patterns of various species, contributing to more informed conservation strategies.

One of the key applications of IoT devices in wildlife monitoring is the use of drones equipped with infrared cameras. These drones offer a wider field of view and can be deployed to track and study animals, particularly in areas where traditional monitoring methods are challenging. For example, scientists are using drones to observe the behavior of sandhill cranes, gathering data that helps to understand their habitat preferences and population dynamics.

Benefits of IoT devices in Wildlife Monitoring:

  • Wide range of view: Drones equipped with infrared cameras provide a comprehensive overview of wildlife habitats and allow for the monitoring of large areas.
  • Non-invasive data collection: Camera traps, another type of IoT device, use sensors to capture images and videos of animals without disturbing their natural behavior. This enables researchers to study elusive and endangered species without causing undue stress or disruption.
  • Data-driven conservation strategies: The data collected by IoT devices, including drones and camera traps, is crucial for understanding wildlife populations, migration patterns, and behavior. This information helps conservationists develop targeted and effective strategies to protect and preserve wildlife species.

The integration of IoT devices in wildlife monitoring is proving to be a game-changer in the field of conservation. These advanced technologies facilitate a deeper understanding of wildlife populations and their habitats, allowing for more effective conservation efforts.

Combating Poaching with 3D Printing and IoT

Illegal poaching poses a significant threat to wildlife conservation efforts. To combat this, organizations like Paso Pacifico are utilizing the combined power of 3D printing and IoT to track and apprehend poachers.

3D printed turtle eggs, embedded with GPS-GSM trackers, are placed in real turtle nests to track the movements of illegal poachers. These fake eggs are nearly indistinguishable from real eggs, allowing them to blend in without arousing suspicion.

The data collected from these fake eggs provides valuable insight into poaching hotspots and trade routes, aiding law enforcement in their efforts to protect threatened species. This innovative approach has gained recognition and funding from organizations like the Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge, highlighting the immense potential of 3D printing and IoT in the fight against poaching.

Liam Poole