Conservation International uses HP big data analytics to measure animal population decline

By Danny Palmer
10 Dec 2013 View Comments

Non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International has teamed with HP for a new scheme that will see big data solutions deployed in an effort to protect nature.

The project, dubbed "Earth Insights", has been established in order to help Conservation International crunch the large amounts of data collected from environmental analysis of animal populations in the tropical rainforests.

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Ultimately the aim is to exploit data collection in order to provide an early warning system about conservation efforts. Data is gathered in real-time from camera traps and climate sensors in 16 countries.

It's already allowed Conservation International to identify 33 species that are experiencing a population decline, including the Western Gorilla in the Republic of Congo which data reveals has seen a 10 per cent drop in population since 2009, classing it as a critically endangered species.

The HP Vertica Analytics Platform is being used to monitor a total of 275 species, allowing Conservation International to analyse data at an unprecedented speed.

"HP Earth Insights is transforming environmental science. Until now, the right data, the technology and scale have been noticeably missing from our field. What once took a team of scientists weeks, months or more to analyse can now be done by a single person in hours," said Peter Seligmann, chairman and chief executive officer, Conservation International.

Seligmann added that collecting data about everything it's possible to collect data from is vital to the cause and that's being achieved with the aid of HP.

"Tropical forests are a vital part of the planet's life-support system - we need them for the air we breathe and to support a diverse and healthy ecosystem for agriculture, medicine and recreation," he said.

"We know that we can't protect what we don't measure, which is why CI is extremely focused on accelerating our research and having the most accurate and current data to ensure that we are doing the very best to safeguard our natural resources."

HP president and CEO Meg Whitman added that the project demonstrates how HP big data solutions can help provide insight to even the most complicated information on the planet.

"In an effort to help create a more sustainable world, HP Earth Insights uses our products and services to deliver near real-time analytics to provide scientists with more accurate and more actionable environmental information," she said.

"The results of the early warning system demonstrate the ability of HP to use big data to address the world's most complex challenges for our customers and partners across sectors, industries and organisations," Whitman concluded.

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