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Updated February 10th, 2024 at 10:30 IST

Tamil Nadu Forest Dept Launches AI-Based System to Avert Elephant Deaths Near Railway Tracks

Tamil Nadu launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning-backed surveillance system to avert elephant deaths on railway tracks.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Tamil Nadu Forest Dept Launches AI-Based System to Avert Elephant Deaths Near Railway Tracks
Tamil Nadu Forest Dept Launches AI-Based System to Avert Elephant Deaths Near Railway Tracks | Image:X
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Coimbatore: The Tamil Nadu Forest Department on Friday launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning-backed surveillance system to avert elephant deaths on railway tracks. Forest Minister M Mathiventhan launched the system in Madukkarai, Coimbatore district.

The Coimbatore forest division experienced a significant increase in Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in recent times, claimed a government report. The increasing cases of HEC occured due to rising elephant population, disturbances in migration corridors, increased developmental activities in and along the animal migratory paths and changes in land use patterns and agricultural practices. 

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The elephants in the Coimbatore forest division are seasonal migrants, who move from Nilgiris and Sathyamangalam to forest areas in Kerala.

Remarking on the initiative, Tamil Nadu Forest Minister Dr Mathiventhan said, “We are very happy and delighted to introduce a new system. The first time of its kind in the entire country. This is a system where you have this artificial intelligence incorporated.” 

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Explaining the need for such initiative, he said, “This technology is like, you have two railway tracks in the Coimbatore division... We have the Vaigai River, and we have the elephants crossing these railway tracks... The main thing which the elephants faced was when they crossed these railway tracks, they got hit by the trains which used to run by the tracks. So it's been a long time since we used to apply many kinds of ideologies and plans to prevent this elephant from being hit by the train.” 

"We had many watchers and guards and foresters who were deployed for this, to save the elephants. And it was a 24/7 procedure which they used to do for the past many years. But whatever it is this time, we thought, using this artificial intelligence and with this technology, we want to do a more efficient system to safeguard the elephants as well as the passenger train," the minister added. 

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Published February 10th, 2024 at 10:30 IST

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