Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Mammoth
World-first data intelligence tool
We are always in a race to keep the African elephant alive. For decades, we helped them outrun poachers. Now the elephants face a new human conflict.
Climate change and population growth has forced people to encroach on elephant habitats, build on migratory routes, graze within wildlife territory, compete for scarce water supplies, and to retaliate against elephants who raid crops.
The race continues, but winning it has become a more mammoth task. Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) asked whiteGREY to help.
How can we help the African elephant get ahead, when we’re always one step behind their human conflicts?
Working with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), SWT operates a number of anti-poaching teams, mobile vets units, and aircraft to oversee a huge geography. While on patrol, these teams monitor wildlife populations, detect and record illegal activity, rescue orphaned infant animals, remove snare and poaching paraphernalia, treat sick and injured animals, and support the arrest by KWS rangers of wildlife offenders.
Until now these teams have used pen and paper to record activity. Time sensitive information is relayed by radio to the Operations room, while full data sheets are manually input into a central database on a monthly basis. So the data is out of date by the time it is received, and not everything is captured.
whiteGREY developed Mammoth, a digital tool that enables SWT staff to easily collect key data while on-patrol. Built as a progressive web-app using WP Engine, data collection works both online and offline.
Each type of user has a different view customised to their needs (e.g. pilots have large buttons than can be used while flying a plane, while anti-poaching teams can create a deeper level of data). Rangers simply log an incident at a location, and then add the details, largely using drop-down menus. At the end of a patrol, the team submits all the data they collected, and can also view the patrol on a map.
Users are able to search for specific types on incidents while in map view, so they can visually see whether there are any trends (such as poachers moving in a certain direction), or incident hotspots.
The dashboard function enables head office users to view and filter the data, for one team or multiple teams. They can then export some or all of the data, so it can be manipulated in another program and used for resource planning.
This is the first time in 45 years SWT has had a real-time snapshot of the human-elephant conflict. The data collected through Mammoth today, now enables tomorrow’s patrols to be planned based on data of where they’re likely to make the biggest impact.
Mammoth‘s impact is being felt by four groups:
• SWT and the rangers who are making a bigger impact, helping SWT stay at the global vanguard of solving the human-elephant conflict.
• Donors, who see their goodwill and donations helping build a platform that will help tip the balance back in the favour of the conservationists, away from extinction.
• The broader Kenyan population, including the farmers who need to provide for their families and communities in a harmonious way, who can be managed better.
• And of course, the elephants who have a new ally in the race to survive.
With Mammoth we are moving from protection towards prevention.