Rhino Conservation Goes Hi-Tech with Integrated Sensor Solution

by Matt Ball on February 23, 2012

Rhino poaching in South Africa has been increasing since 2007, with a dramatic 34% increase between 2010 and last year. To date, South Africa has been addressing the poaching problem with traditional patrols and approaches, but yesterday a high-tech approach was unveiled that includes  radar technology, perimeter detection sensors, communication monitoring, visual and thermal cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground sensors and GPS tracking of rhinos. The package is being promoted by an outfit called Diceros (the Latin name for rhinoceros), which is a partnership between wildlife monitor Wildlife ACT and Stone Holdings, a security design company.

The cost of this solution is considerable, which will make it difficult to scale widely, however a pilot project is underway and private land owners have shown interest. This anti-poaching solution could also be applied to the bush meat trade, the protection of other game such as vultures, cheetahs, and wild dogs, as well as application on the coast to stop abalone poaching.

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