CHINA Chinese companies develop smart collar to reduce human-elephant conflict

CHINA

Chinese companies develop smart collar to reduce human-elephant conflict

Xinhua

23:02, September 25, 2020

SHANGHAI, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A high-precision intelligent collar tailor-made to track Asian elephants in real time and reduce human-elephant conflicts was unveiled at the INCLUSION Fintech Conference in Shanghai Thursday.

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File photo: CFP

Co-developed by Ant Group, the parent company of China's leading mobile-payment business Alipay, and Commsat, a Beijing-based private satellite company, the intelligent collar will soon be tested in southwest China's Yunnan Province, the main habitat of Asian elephants in the country. If the testing is successful, the collar will be used on a wider range of Asian elephants as soon as possible.

Based on China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, the collar with a circumference of more than 3 meters, can achieve a positioning accuracy of up to 0.5 meters. With accurate and real-time monitoring of elephant herds, local authorities will be able to issue timely warnings to avoid human-elephant conflicts.

Chen Yannan, product manager of the collar at Commsat, said the gadget can adjust data collection and reporting frequency according to different locations of the elephants.

Based on electronic fence technology, areas with elephant activity are divided into three categories -- safe habitat zone, buffer zone, and human-elephant conflict zone. When elephants are scattered in the safe habitat zone far from villages, the collar will collect the location information at an interval of one hour and report it every six hours.

However, when the animals enter the conflict zone, the system will report their position every 100 elephant steps in order to send more timely alerts.

Commsat had earlier developed a type of electronic monitoring collar for the protection of giant pandas in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"For scientific research, panda collars focus on understanding what the animals have done to acquire their habits, while elephant collars are used to accurately locate elephants in real time to avoid conflict with human beings," said Chen.

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