• A change in focus

    A change in focus

    Instead of monitoring rhinos via microchips and sensors, a new initiative to mitigate poaching is tracking the movements of people.

    A private game reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park has implemented technology by South Africa-headquartered Dimension Data and networking company Cisco to monitor and track individuals from the time they enter the reserve’s gates until they exit.

    According to a BiztechAfrica report, the technology also aims to stop people from entering the reserve illegally – whether through cut fences or by helicopter. In Phase 1 of the project, Dimension Data and Cisco gathered information from game rangers, security personnel, technology and control-centre teams, which they used to create a secure ‘reserve area network’. WiFi hotspots were also installed around key points.

    The second phase of the project will incorporate CCTV, drones equipped with infrared cameras, thermal imaging, vehicle-tracking technology and seismic sensors.

    Last year, nearly 1 200 rhino were lost to poaching – and that’s in South Africa alone. Over time, this approach is expected to be replicated in other reserves not only within the country but throughout the continent too, as well as globally.

    10 May 2016
    Image: Gallo/GettyImages