High-tech anti-poaching alarm system is actually working

Rhino deaths went from 70 down to 0 in 2 years

Photo by Jessica Bateman on Unsplash

Connected Conservation, a high-tech burglar alarm designed to prevent wild-game poaching, has reduced the number of rhinos killed by poachers at a South African reserve from 70 to zero in just 2 years.

A collaboration between San Francisco IT-giant Cisco and South African data startup Dimension Data is one of the most successful initiatives so far in the fight against wildlife trafficking

Good rhino horns sell for up to $100,000 per kilo in China and Vietnam.

But, starting in 2015 — when Connected Conservation was created — the total rhino deaths in South Africa dropped for 3 consecutive years.

When gun-toting rangers were the only security in the 135k-acre reserve, park officials carted off dead, de-horned rhinos every other night. Now, a wireless network of thermal cameras and biometric gateways cuts response time from 30 to 7 minutes — effectively eliminating rhino deaths.

Eventually, they hope to install versions of the system across the world to protect animal populations being picked on by poachers. One already exists in Zambia, and systems will be developed in Kenya, Mozambique, and India next.

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.

Code, design, cook. Make stuff. Cookies. @BYU grad.