Improving the conditions of Elephants in captivity in the UK and worldwide.
The Elephant Behavioural Welfare Assessment App (EBWAT), used by Zookeepers, animal carers and inspectors, has been developed for routine behavioural welfare monitoring. The tablet app informs adjustments to individual elephant welfare plans to help facilities assess and improve conditions of elephants in captivity.
The tool helps drive changes in policy and practise for captive elephant management and legislation in a number of countries including the UK, which could also be applied to a range of other captive species.
Adapting requirements for the end user
To encourage global uptake of the app, one of the key requirements was to keep cost down for the end user. In order to meet this requirement , the native Android app was built to run on Android Go, known as Android (Go edition).
Android Go is a specialised mobile operating system designed specifically for entry-level smartphones equipped with lower RAM specifications compared to those found in higher-end devices. This streamlined version of Android offers optimised performance, consuming fewer resources and conserving data usage. This enables Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to create budget-friendly, entry-level devices, meeting the requirement to keep end user costs at a minimum.
Assessor and elephant inventory
Entering key credentials about an elephant and its assessor can all be logged straight into the app, keeping a clear distinction between the animals that are being assessed and who is assessing them. These elephant data sheets also help to connect animals with the same blood line, building up a rich picture of relations within a collection.
Putting new users at ease
The tool has been designed using native android UI components making the tool instantly feel familiar to each assessor. Clear assessment prompts sign post how and when to use the tool throughout the day, with sections of the app unlocking only when previous sections are completed.
Collecting key data across daily intervals
The app is scientifically validated, simple to use and rapid to complete. Routine observations can be completed and behavioural metrics logged against each elephant. Over time the data is monitored and changes are made to improve overall welfare.
Identifying patterns for change
Assessment results are a clear indication of an elephant’s overall well being. The more consistently the tool is used the more analysis can be made. The assessment results allow zoos to assess the impact of changes in management and husbandry to better inform policy to support optimal zoo welfare.