Wild-Leo Project

The Wild-Leo Project seeks to tackle poaching and illegal activity by recording and analyzing images taken by rangers patrolling protected areas with GPS enabled cameras. Determined to actually convict poachers, criminologist Dr. Andrew Lemieux decided to expand his novel anti-poaching work in 2016 by going in the field to acquire solid, trial-ready evidence. The cameras are taken with rangers on every patrol, which not only take pictures, but log the date, time, and exact coordinates of a spotted incident. Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers then analyze the downloaded data and images to map out poaching activity. Data can also be used for larger management and infrastructure planning, as well as community education. Other illegal activity is also tracked and analysed, such as encroachment and tree cutting. The only disadvantage of only arming rangers with cameras rather than using conventional camera trap methods is that all activity occurring without patrolled presence is not logged until after the fact. Currently, the Uganda Conservation Foundation, which hosts the Wild-Leo Project, has acquired 17 of these GPS-enabled cameras, while training over 50 rangers in the geo-visual analysis of images. By mapping out the state of poaching activities, the Wild-Leo Project has successfully been able to identify and monitor wildlife populations, all while collecting evidence to support prosecution of poachers. 

Moreto, W. D. (2015). “Introducing intelligence-led conservation: bridging crime and conservation science“.


Biodiversity, Ecological Monitoring, Illegal Resource Extraction, Monitoring, Visual Technologies