ESO strongly believes that conservation research can help it achieve its long-term goals. Any anti-poaching activities will yield significant imaging and other data. A thorough analysis of this data can yield an objective assessment of project success, as well as the current state of the protected areas under contract. Ecological, environmental and other biological research can be conducted.
A key focus of ESO is to bring together all interested parties to conduct research as effectively as possible, in partnership with the responsible bodies in Tanzania, as well as international experts. ESO will establish working groups on different problems and will strive to provide educational opportunities locally and internationally on these chosen topics. ESO will seek out appropriate grants to conduct its research from public and private funding. While the main focus of the group must be on elephant survival, additional venues of research will be explored.
ESO will initially focus on three primary goals regarding research:
Conduct research on the anti-poaching activities themselves. This will be research dealing directly with the technology and science of our anti-poaching approach. Examples would be improvements in image analysis or UAV technology.
Conduct research that supplements our elephant protection activities. This would include analyzing elephant migration in and between the affected parks or counting animals etc.
Conduct research not directly related to elephant survival. This would include general environmental research or research on other animals, based on the massive amounts of data we expect to generate.
Also in order to organize effective research, ESO will draw upon the expertise of local and international scientists. ESO proposes to create a Scientific Advisory Committee which will provide the board with expert opinions on technical and scientific matters. The Committee would consult on a purely voluntary basis. This will establish a forum to rapidly get effective feedback on research and practical ideas from experts willing to contribute to our cause. Meetings will primarily be held online and working groups will be formed as necessary.