20th August 2021 How Dell is helping to save the African elephant

Some statistics on how much animal populations have been affected by humans really make you stop and think. And the fact that the African elephant population is now 97% lower than it was 100 years ago, is one of the most frightening and heart-breaking statistics you will ever read.

It’s easy to feel helpless when faced with such catastrophic damage to wildlife. But non-profit organisation Elephants Alive is working to ensure the survival of these majestic creatures and their successful coexistence with humans, as they continue to be threatened and poached for their ivory.

Dell steps up to support

Elephants Alive want to develop the science needed to secure the survival of elephants within intact ecosystems and to raise global awareness. That’s why Dell Technologies and the charity have joined forces, to deploy Dell Latitude Rugged and Precision mobile workstations to facilitate field research.

The research that Elephants Alive conducts on the movement of elephants in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in South Africa is vital to their mission. Dell workstations provide the processing power to obtain the data-driven insights and generate details maps from built-in software.

Dr. Michelle Henley, Co-founder, CEO and Principal Researcher at Elephants Alive

“Using innovative technology in conservation research allows us to be more efficient in our data collection and analysis. By evolving from hand drawn images to high-definition photographs, digitising the identification of elephants allows us to scale our efforts in the field to protect more animals.”

The ideal rugged solution

Gathering data and taking hundreds of photos every day in the field is a challenge for Elephants Alive. But it is essential in order to identify elephants, which is done through the shape of their ears. They require technology that is not just innovative but designed to work in rough conditions.

The Dell Latitude Rugged range provides the researchers with an extremely rugged and durable workstation that they can rely on out in the field. They chose to work with Dell precisely because their products can withstand the heat, off-road travel, corrosive wind, dust, and extreme weather.

Doug Woolley, Managing Director, Dell Technologies South Africa

“Dell Technologies is continually developing innovative technology that delivers a simple, seamless experience to users – no matter where they work, in the field or at the office. Our collaboration with Elephants Alive shows how technology can accelerate conservation initiatives like identifying and tracking African elephants. This is a testament to the versatile range of our PC portfolio -from Latitude Rugged enabling researchers to work comfortably in any environment to Dell Precision mobile workstations offering power and intelligence, through Dell Optimizer software, making data processing easy and efficient.”

Keeping track of elephants

Maintaining the tracking of elephants is one of the most important parts of what Elephants Alive does. They gather data from nearly 200 advanced satellite collars, deployed onto elephants over the last two decades. This creates data points, that they can combine with their visual identification.

Dell Precision allow the researchers to perform heavy duty processing, and use the workstation’s latest thermal innovations, professional graphics, and powerful CPU technologies. The AI software also optimises in real time for each user, ensuring no disruptions to their important research.