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Jumbos for Jumbos: Drones for Elephant Conservation

Raised toward our $3,000 Goal
48 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

Jumbos for Jumbos: Drones for Elephant Conservation

This crowdfunding project has ended, but you can still support Tufts Elephant Conservation Alliance here. Thank you for your continued support!


Time is running out. Every day in Africa around 100 elephants are killed. If elephant loss continues at current rates, wild elephants will be extinct within a decade.

Losing the African elephant would have particular resonance for Tufts. The elephant – its strength, emotional depth, loyalty, and sheer awesomeness – is our mascot, our guardian pachyderm, and our Jumbo inspiration.


Jumbos for Jumbos: Together we can protect elephants

The Tufts Elephant Conservation Alliance (TECA) has launched a groundbreaking new project, utilizing drones for elephant conservation. But we need your help! Reaching our crowdfunding goal will allow us to purchase SDR solo drones to protect and track endangered elephants. These drones will enable Tufts’ students and researchers to monitor elephants, collect enhanced visual data for identification, map elephant populations and alert rangers to the presence of threats.

Tufts student software engineers are optimizing the accuracy of the collected drone data and ensuring that all encryption, accuracy, and recognition issues are developed before deployment. Images from the field will:

  • enable veterinarians to follow injured animals
  • heighten conservation awareness by engaging the public
  • educate the global community about the plight of these incredible animals

But, we can't do this without your help!

Where else but Tufts?

Proud Jumbos know that Tufts University is uniquely positioned for such a challenge. Conceived by Dean Karen Panetta in the Vision and Sensing Systems Laboratory within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept, implemented by student software engineers, and aided by faculty members from across our campuses, this multidisciplinary project could only happen at Tufts. 

Tufts was the first university in the nation with an elephant mascot – we have a legacy commitment to protect this species.

Please join us today – Jumbos for Jumbos – to protect elephants from extinction.

Choose a giving level


Drone Propellers

This allows us to replace damaged propellers which can cause excessive vibration.


3DR Battery Chargers

Purchase the 3DR battery chargers necessary for adequate flight time/range.


Range Extender Antenna

A DBS range extender antenna will allow far greater flight range without losing signal reception.


Camera Stablization

Add a 3-axis gimbal to the equipment which will stabilize and smooth the panning and gliding features of our drone’s camera.


Thermal Camera

A thermal camera on a drone can gather accurate, non-contact temperature measurements and distinguish sick from healthy elephants.

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