Infrared or Motion-triggered Sensors

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What is an infrared sensor?

An Infrared sensor is an electronic sensor that is triggered when an animal or object passes in front of it.

A passive infrared sensor (PIR) is a sensor that measures infrared light radiating from objects in the field of view.

Materials for this device might be available in a local electronic market and can be put together by those with some knowledge of electronics.

See more Youtube links on how to make an infrared sensor.

Why are they useful?

Automated and early warning systems could help reduce the need for constant guarding by farmers. 10 - 15 cm

Other types

Some sensors may have a speaker inbuilt to the device.

The infrared sensor activates the speaker system

Playbacks of predators and bees can be used to help scare elephants away.

Example, Buzz Box by Wild Survivors.

What else should you use them with?

Best used in combination with other farm-based deterrents.

Caution tips:

The motion sensor detects arrival of the elephant (within 10 to 15 m).

This device consumes very little battery power and lasts a long time in the field if properly made.

Once the PIR sensor is activated, it rings a bell placed at the watchman’s hut.

This document is not extensive. More research and design adaptations needed.

This method is dependent on battery power. Ensure devices are well charged for maximum success.

With all methods, there is a risk of habituation. It is best to combine and vary strategies.

Pros/ Cons

The radius of this device may be limited.

It may respond to any animal or vehicle that passes by.

Not ideal for wet conditions.

These devices may be a costly and more technically challenging option. If they work, this could reduce the stress of crop-guarding for farmers.

Credits and Disclaimer:

We have collected the information above from multiple sources. Main sources include: Narayana, S. (2014),The Nature Conservation Foundation, Mongabay (2015) and Wild Survivors. For more information, see References. Save the Elephants advises caution with all the methods and information collected and presented in this illustrated toolbox. Further research may be required before each site-specific implementation.

* Save the Elephants is not liable for any costs, damages or injuries incurred by the use of these methods.

1. Produced by Save the Elephants Made in Kenya 2023
Illustrations by Nicola Heath

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