Using tech to guard Africa’s wildlife

The project is being piloted in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas.

East and Southern African nations are turning to technology to preserve their most valuable tourism asset, wildlife.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is trialling a technology solution to record incidents of human-wildlife conflict with a view to allowing local communities to better coexist with mountain gorillas and other wildlife.

UWA, the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, a coalition of the World Wildlife Fund and Fauna & Flora International, have teamed up with Inmarsat, a leading mobile satellite communications company, to pilot the use of a mobile-based technology solution that streamlines data-collection of incidences of human-wildlife conflict and provides the opportunity for real-time data transmission. The project is being piloted in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas.

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Recently in Kenya FLIR CEO, Jim Cannon, and WWF CEO, Carter Roberts, announced The Kifaru Rising Project. This collaboration sees WWF deploying FLIR fixed thermal cameras along a five-mile, high-risk fence line, and wildlife rangers given handheld battery-operated cameras. The cameras will monitor the entry of potential poachers in real time across ten parks and game reserves in Kenya to help improve wildlife ranger safety.

The Kifaru Rising Project aims to bolster conservation efforts specifically to protect the Black rhino, whose wild population of just 5 400 makes it one the world’s most endangered species.

The Kifaru Rising Project includes a pledge by FLIR of more than $3 million in technology, engineering assistance and training with the goal of eliminating rhino poaching in Kenya by 2021.

To date, the deployment has been limited to the Maasai Mara Conversancy and Lake Nakuru conservation areas in Kenya, and Kafue National Park in Zambia, among other locations, which remain unnamed for security purposes.

FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes technologies that enhance perception and awareness.

(Tourism Update)

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