Desautels-developed AI app is helping monkeys avoid injury in Costa Rica

Published: 20 October 2023

When endangered howler monkey populations cross Costa Rica’s roads, they are vulnerable to injury from electrical wires and passing cars. Associate Professor Juan Camilo Serpa, partnering with Reserva Conchal, is using artificial intelligence to help prevent these injuries from occurring. Serpa and McGill Desautels students, as part of the Costa Rica Experiential Learning Course and trip, have been working with NGO Salvemonos to create a heat map outlining where most injuries occur so that treetop bridges can be built in order to provide a safe crossing. “Thanks to this application, we have a much more detailed mapping of what’s happening to wildlife on our roads,” says Salvemonos founder Simonetta Danielle to El Observador and Tico Times. “It is easy to use, and will greatly facilitate our work.”

The groundbreaking work has garnered widespread recognition, with numerous publications such as La Republica (video), FIFCO, Revista Summa, CRC89.1 radio (audio), Periodico Mensaje, and more, providing an in-depth look at the program’s impact on wildlife conservation.


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