i3 - January/February 2018 - 53

PREVENTING CRIME, SAVING ENDANGERED SPECIES

In Kenya, one of the biggest threats to rhinos and elephants are poachers.
In Africa more elephants are being killed than being born. The threat to
wildlife is so serious that the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) partnered
with Kenya Wildlife Service to launch a system called Instant Detect.
The camera trap system can monitor areas where poaching is common and
send real-time images worldwide to prevent the further slaughter of endangered species who are critical to the ecosystem.
The goal in Kenya is to help local governments tackle poaching proactively. Because the technology, which uses military grade sensors, can
catch poachers in the act, ZSL believes that Instant Detect can have an even
bigger impact worldwide.
C TA . t e c h / i 3

ABOVE:
Instant Detect
can monitor
areas where
poaching is
common and
send realtime images
to protect
endangered
species.

According to Sophie Maxwell, head of
the conservation technology unit at the
ZSL, "Instant Detect is designed to be
quick and easy to deploy and reposition."
Using multiple systems, it can cover several areas at once, and if poachers
become aware of the system they cannot
predict where others are located. "Even
if a poacher manages to evade rangers,"
she says, "the high-quality images taken
can be used for evidence in investigations and prosecutions."
To create this system, ZSL has worked
with several tech partners like Raspberry
Pi and Seven Technologies Group, winning a Google Global Impact Award in
2013 and the Wildlife Crime Tech
Challenge by the U.S. Agency for
International Development in 2016.
"These vast reserves are often in
remote locations with limited protection," says Maxwell. "There is an urgent
need for technology to help strengthen
law enforcement practices and scale up
the capacity and effectiveness of the
small teams that manage these sites.
They need low-cost, low-power, longlasting technology designed to safeguard
wildlife in these environments."
With the use of covert low-power
acoustic, magnetic and seismic sensors and cameras, human intruders
can be targeted on both land and
water. The device is camouflaged and
can send instant alerts to rangers
when poachers are detected. "This
greatly expands a ranger's capacity to
monitor intrusion routes around-theclock," says Maxwell, "and allows rangers to respond before poachers have
a chance to get close to the animals."
"Poachers," says Maxwell, "use remote
routes to gain access to protected areas,
often selecting routes where terrain is
complex and foliage offers good cover
from view. No other conservation surveillance systems (including radar or drones)
can see or monitor these unconnected
remote locations for any length of time."
The good news for users of Instant
Detect is that once deployed, the system
can remain as a permanent, vigilant
presence. By being extremely low-power
and ruggedized, it requires little maintenance and can stay in the field for an
extended period.
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

53


http://www.cta.tech

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - January/February 2018

Contents
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i3 - January/February 2018 - Contents
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