Animal populations have declined on average by 60% since 1970, and it is predicted that around a million species are at risk of extinction. In the face of this, protected and wildlife areas are critical to conservation efforts. Unfortunately, many are underfunded and lack the resources for even basic wildlife monitoring. In Africa, for example, the total funding deficits of protected areas with lions is estimated at between 0.9-2.1 billion USD. This is a problem because understanding the health of wildlife populations is important for diagnosing problems and diverting conservation resources to the right areas at the right times. In this talk, I’ll be sharing stories and pictures to discuss some of the most commonly used wildlife monitoring techniques in sub-Saharan Africa and how we found that tourist holiday snaps could fill a data gap for some of African’s most charismatic species. We’ll also discuss why partnerships with technology and safari companies can help to collect this wildlife data over larger scales.
Speaker: Kasim Rafiz, UC Santa Cruz
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