Japanese Agriculture Solutions Firm DMM Agri Innovation, in cooperation with Apollo Corporation and CEFIC (different firm, NOT the European Chemical Industry Council), has initiated a project that would test the efficiency of surveillance drones in predicting the emergence patterns of potentially disruptive wild boars.
The Wild Boar Spawn Map
The specific objective of the initial experiment was to gather the movement and population data of wild boars of a target region. The chosen spot was Hiroshima Kenritsu Bingo Sports Park, where wild boars have been long known to roam freely around the area on occasion.
The drones were equipped with multiple cameras and infrared sensors, which are then combined with artificial intelligence and manual analysis. This allows the development of a sort of “spawn map”, creating algorithmic combinations that will predict the emergence of wild boars.
The next set of experiments (the one currently in operation and the ones planned later) builds upon the previously observed data patterns. By using the same set of drones, the researchers were now able to predict with significantly higher accuracy when and where wild boars might appear. In fact, the predictions even included the path that each appearing wild boar would take, and at which spot they would leave the park completely.
CEFIC is slated to build upon this data set even further by combining the already produced analysis with their analysis of wild boar excrement samples found throughout the park.
Japanese Wild Boar Threat
Wild boars are animals of particular notoriety in Japan. They are typically known to be as disruptive in many human-populated environments, most especially so in agricultural centers and open public areas like parks. They are also quite known to invade rural homes and shelters when given the natural opportunity. Worse, it has been known that wild boars are also potential carriers of Japanese encephalitis, a brain infection disease that can be deadly.
Once more, DMM Agri Innovation plans to refine the data yet again by supporting the drones with additional stationary sensor cameras. While they were only able to drive away the wild boars this way, in the future, the researchers plan to catch them directly, in order to reduce further the potential damage that they could incur.
As for Apollo Corporation, it plans to extend its contribution in the later stages of the experiment. Specifically, they will provide barricading equipment (such as electric fences and gratings) and repellents, to assist in the reduction of wild boars in target areas.