BiodiversityAnti-poaching TechnologyKruger National Park - South Africa
All our conservation work, including this project, is born of our love for Africa and our need to protect it. Become a part of preserving Africa’s legacy for future generations.

The current escalated levels of desire for high-value wildlife products such as rhino horn, elephant ivory, lion bone and pangolin scales has driven the illegal hunting of these and other species to levels not seen in decades. At the same time, the demand for protein to feed Africa’s burgeoning human population is driving an ever-growing market for illegally-harvested bushmeat. Together, these industries threaten the very existence of the continent’s unique protected areas and remaining wildlife.

Maintaining the integrity of our reserves and the fragile ecosystems that exist within them is therefore a primary concern for Singita’s conservation teams, with anti-poaching operations a critical part of our effort to stem the tide of this illicit trade.

In this context, nothing can substitute a traditional well-trained, well-motivated and well-resourced team of anti-poaching scouts. However, through innovative deployment of high-tech modern technology, we can significantly increase their effectiveness.

The Singita Grumeti Fund has plans to launch a reconnaissance drone program in 2018.  The drone will be fitted with live video capabilities that enable imagery to be transmitted back to the operations room in real-time. The drone is launched and used for surveying a specific area of interest or suspected poaching hot spot. Whenever the drone detects an object of interest (such as elephants, cattle, humans or dogs) specialised artificial intelligence software will flag sections of footage for review by the drone operator. The operator carefully reviews the footage to ascertain whether there is a genuine threat, and can control the drone to orbit over a suspected threat. This enables scout teams to move in and confront the poachers, whilst keeping an ‘eye in the sky’ to guide them and increase their safety.

 

How it works:
  • Detection equipment such as GSM-enabled camera traps and night vision equipment feed information through digital communication networks to web-based monitoring systems in 24-hour control rooms.
  • From here, dedicated operators are able to identify the closest available anti-poaching teams and remotely guide them, with the benefit of satellite imagery and GPS locations, towards the detected threat.
  • The added efficiency derived from these systems assists teams in increasing the rate of arrests of poachers, reducing wildlife losses whilst simultaneously deterring other would-be illegal hunters who recognise the increased risk of being apprehended.
How to help:The introduction of high-tech equipment requires a significant investment up front. Donations of any size to fund this investment has an incredible impact on our conservation efforts.
  • GSM-enabled Camera Trap: $750
  • FLIR night-vision monocular: $6,000
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