The status of large carnivores across Africa is alarming - African Wild Dogs, Cheetahs, Leopards and Lions are all on the IUCN Red List and their populations are all declining.
Monitoring both the population size and geographic range of threatened and endangered species are two critical factors for establishing effective, comprehensive and timely conservation plans. Unfortunately, current population counting methods rely on disparate manual processes that are not scalable, can take years, and still result in wide ranging estimates. Regardless, the unquestioned need for population counts consumes significant time and effort by the research and conservation community, who already lack funding and resources for the specialized work that they need to do.
Habitat preservation is another critical factor in species conservation. With a comprehensive and verifiable view of the ranges of these critical species, legislative and policy change for habitat preservation can be accurately established and continuously monitored to benefit both wildlife and human populations.
The vision of this African Carnivore Wildbook project is to use innovative technology that leverages crowdsourced images to enable continuous and automated monitoring of these African carnivores continent-wide. This solution provides a powerful technology platform that delivers a large high quality dataset to the research and conservation communities, supporting their critical efforts to bring these species back to healthy levels.
African Carnivore Wildbook uses photographs of coat patterns and textures to distinguish between animals of each species and to identify individuals in as few as three clicks. Anyone can contribute to African Carnivore Wildbook. All you need is to submit your photos and any other sighting information and African Carnivore Wildbook does the rest. You and the research community will be able to follow your individual animal, find out who she is friends with, where she goes, and who has seen her lately.
Import your photos and sightings data in many common picture formats. Once imported, you can view your sightings online, follow individuals you have identified, add metadata, manage individual data, and use all the other African Carnivore Wildbook features. Having your data in African Carnivore Wildbook also serves as a backup service for your own separate storage systems. See our Data Use Framework here.
African Carnivore Wildbook provides tools for managing photoidentification, molecular sampling, and sightings databases and includes a growing number of features to help users work with additional software by linking to external programs, including ArcGIS, SOCPROG, Genepop, GenAIEx, WinBugs, and Google Earth.