Talk about using technology to curb a menace which has haunted animals (and mankind) for years! Poaching! One horned rhinos, tigers, elephants and an entire army of animals have, over the years, in different parts of the globe been victims of what is known as one of the most horrendous forms of human misdemeanor against animals.
Using technology to deal with poaching
Before delving into details, let us tell you that poachers use night vision goggles, helicopters and even assault rifles (but of course!) to target their victims. In fact, it has been opined that the difference between the technological prowess backing poachers’ and anti-poachers’ efforts has actually acted as a major hindrance as far as wildlife protection is concerned.
In a bid to combat this lacuna, conversationalists around the globe have added highly advanced technological tools to their anti-poaching arsenal.
Nepal has played an exemplary role in this regard. It was in the month of September this year that the country lost a male greater one-horned rhino to poaching. Today, this country has actually emerged as one of the leading names successful in resisting the efforts of poachers and protecting its rhinos— thanks to technology. Highly refined GPS collars and drones have played a crucial role in keeping poachers at bay.
Nepal shows the way
Between the years 2011 – 2014, Nepal twice registered consecutive years without poaching. Riding high on the tech-tools at present, the country is aiming for zero poaching in the near future. The rhino population has increased by 21% since 2011. The Terai Arc landscape today has 645 greater one-horned rhinos gazing on it.
Officials said that they have invested a huge amount of money in forest connectivity in the Khata region because the radio collars have informed them that the rhinos are visiting it on a regular basis. This particular technology, they believe will also go on to bolster transboundary anti-poaching patrolling efforts.
Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is another efficacious technology employed to protect wildlife. SMART consists of a free toolkit which acts as an open source software system training protectors how to collect data and manage the same. The instructions are available in all languages and are compatible with desktop as well as diverse GPS units. The information collected from this unit is used to assess patrol results and gauge the intensity of threats as well.
What more? The country has even experimented with UAVs occasionally but they are clearly looking at more robust structures that can fly longer.