Huawei’s AI-powered system has identified at least five jaguars in the Dzilam state reserve in Yucatan, Mexico.
The company announced this week that by using its cloud platform and artificial intelligence, the conservation team they are working with has identified two adult males, one adult female and two cubs.
The conservation efforts come as part of the Tech4Nature project which was launched by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Huawei in 2022. Before the project started, biologists were unfamiliar with the number of jaguars in the area.
So far, the Tech4Nature partners have gathered and analyzed 30,000 images, 550,000 audio recordings, and extensive video footage, resulting in the identification of 119 species. These comprise 88 birds, 22 mammals, five reptiles, and four amphibians, with 34 of them being on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The collected data is analyzed by Huawei ModelArts AI platform and the Rainforest Connection’s Arbimon AI platform and offers a wealth of data-driven insights for researchers to develop conservation strategies based on a much more comprehensive understanding of the ecosystem as a whole.
“Our umbrella species is the jaguar, because if we protect it, then we protect everything that surrounds them,” C Minds project coordinator Regina Cervera said.
“What we are doing is a huge and pioneering step for decision-making for conservation and nature-based solutions,” she explained.
Partners of the project include C Minds, Huawei Mexico, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Polytechnic University of Yucatan, Rainforest Connection, the government authorities of Yucatan and various local community groups.
Read more: Huawei 5G connected intelligent mining system reaches one-year milestone
Read more: Huawei unveils new ‘smart’ diamond mine in Botswana
The project employs a combination of infrared cameras, audio monitoring devices, cloud technology, and AI to gather, track, and evaluate acoustic and visual data.
This data provides a fundamental comprehension of the existence of 25 distinct species, including the endangered North American jaguar, which serves as an indicator species for the overall health of the ecosystem.
“This is jaguar territory. If we do not protect this habitat, we will only find these jaguars in books,” said Juan Castillo, a community leader in Dzilam de Bravo.
Mexico’s jaguars face numerous threats such as poaching, deforestation, habitat loss, and climate change. According to ecologists, approximately 4,000 to 5,000 jaguars inhabit the wild in Mexico, with more than half of them residing in the Yucatan Peninsula, making it a crucial region for conservation efforts.
Currently, the team is focused on developing algorithms capable of identifying individual jaguars, which would enable more accurate calculations of population numbers.
On June 5, which is World Environment Day, the IUCN and Huawei will hold the third Tech4Nature webinar titled “Smarter Biodiversity Conservation.” At the event, government officials, conservationists, and technology experts will discuss how technology can enhance nature conservation and highlight recent innovations and accomplishments in this field.
Additionally, the IUCN and Huawei will introduce the Smart Protected Areas whitepaper, which can aid in enabling smarter nature conservation.