Hundreds of people joined the WILDLABS.NET #Tech4Wildlife photo challenge this year, showcasing all the incredible ways technology is being used to support wildlife conservation.

We’ve seen proximity loggers on Tasmanian devils in Australia, open source sensors monitoring penguin colonies in Antarctica, tiny tags tracking desert bats in Kenya, drones studying orangutan nesting habits in Indonesia and camera traps capturing jaguars in Bolivia. Here are our top five favourites!

5. Drones capturing whale snot

Vanessa Pirotta, takes fifth spot with her custom-built waterproof drones that she is using to sample whale snot from northward migrating humpback whales off Sydney. Vanessa and her team developed the low-cost multirotor UAV incorporating a sterile petri-dish with a remotely operated ‘blow’ to sample whale blow with minimal disturbance to the whales while reducing possible sample contamination.

4. Open source technology with Conservify

Shah Selbe shared an open source glacier seismic observatory he and Conservify built on the Bow Glacier in Banff National Park. The system monitors the melting of the glacier and live streams the data.

3. Technology for ungulates

Blair Costelloe is using a variety of technology to understand anti-predator behaviour of ungulates on east Africa’s savannahs. This includes using drones to simultaneously measure the behaviour of each individual in a group to understand the dynamics of collective movement.

2. The bear ID project

Ed Miller takes second place with his bear ID entry. Ed’s day job is in software and hardware development, but in his spare time he has been working on a project using computer vision and deep learning to identify individual brown bears.

1. Duke Marine Lab UAS: in search of minke whales

The top spot goes to Duke Marine UAS, who are doing extraordinary work using technology including drones, tags, hydrophones, lego, NIR imagery and rovers to further our understanding of the natural world.

Duke Marine UAS are in Antarctica in search of minke whales – the least studied top krill predator in Antarctica. Their team is working hard to change that, starting with getting some tags on these elusive whales.

This top spot is shared with other members of the expedition with Duke Marine UAS, including the Goldbogen Lab who shared this spectacular action video of Dr. Ari Friedlaender deploying a camera tag to a minke whale.

Congratulations to everyone who joined us for the #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge 2018! It’s been phenomenal to have so many people participate and to see all the ways in which you’re using technology in the wild. To see all the entries, check out the full feed on Twitter.

WILDLABS.NET, an initiative launched by United for Wildlife (a collaboration between leading international conservation organisations, including Fauna & Flora International), connects conservationists, technologists, engineers, data scientists, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help them find, share and create effective technology-based solutions to protect threatened wildlife and habitats.

Article adapted from #Tech4Wildlife Photo Challenge 2018: Our Top 10