We develop a machine learning approach to detect and discriminate elephants from other species, and to recognise important behaviours such as running and rumbling, based only on seismic data generated by the animals. We demonstrate our approach using data acquired in the Kenyan savanna, consisting of 8000 h seismic recordings and 250 k camera trap pictures. Our classifiers, different convolutional neural networks trained on seismograms and spectrograms, achieved 80%–90% balanced accuracy in detecting elephants up to 100 m away, and over 90% balanced accuracy in recognising running and rumbling behaviours from the seismic data. We release the dataset used in this study: SeisSavanna represents a unique collection of seismic signals with the associated wildlife species and behaviour. Our results suggest that seismic data offer substantial benefits for
monitoring wildlife, and we propose to further develop our methods using dense arrays that could result in a seismic shift for wildlife monitoring.