GPS tracker: The rhino project
For years poachers have been targeting rhinos due to a rising demand for rhino horns in Asian countries. While the rhino horns have been said to have medical uses, they are being used more as an ostentatious symbol for the wealthy. In 2014, wildlife security experts from 13 countries gathered in northern Kruger National Park to discuss patterns in rhino poaching. They also discussed tools and techniques to advance wildlife protection and improve interception of illegally trafficked rhino horns. Later, the solution came down to technology! Video cameras, GPS tracker devices and heart-rate sensors are all being used to implement the rhino protection project.
At the beginning of the 1900’s, Rhino populations were at a healthy number with approximately 500,000 rhinos living throughout Africa and Asia. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the worldwide population of the animals has gone down as a result of the illegal poaching for rhino horns. There are now only five species of rhino left on Earth and all of them are classified as a threatened species with three out of those five classified as critically endangered. How can GPS tracker devices and other technologies help to save the lives of these rhinos? The answer seemed simple enough. In fact, the cameras and GPS tracker devices are being placed inside the rhino horns to deter poachers.
The GPS tracker devices will inevitably help security teams keep an eye out on the rhinos’ locations. One step further than GPS tracker devices is the utilization of heart-rate monitors for the rhinos. If a rhino is attacked by poachers and its heart rate stops then a signal would be sent to a security team that could respond to the rhino’s location. Within minutes poachers could be caught and if not, camera evidence will provide evidence of what they look like. This is just one example of how amazing and wonderful technology like GPS tracker devices, cameras and heart-rate monitors are working to help wildlife.
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