16 March 2017
A SANParks Special Ranger response unit is quickly mobilised to intercept the trespassers, and the team members focus all their energy on ensuring a zero-harm intervention. Once again the Meerkat is utilised, this time to safely direct the response team as they inch closer and closer to a potentially dangerous encounter with the armed poachers. Guided by the “angel on their shoulder”, the rangers manage to catch the poachers off-guard, arrest them and confiscate valuable firearms and tools. At least on this night, thanks to the Meerkat and the dedicated ranger teams, no human or animal lives were lost.
On Valentine’s Day, while the rest of the country enjoyed time with their loved ones, Kruger rangers spent the night protecting the wildlife they hold dear. On that frightful evening the Postcode Meerkat detected three separate groups - an alarming number of 14 poachers in total - moving into the rhino heartland from different directions. Through coordinated operations the activities of all three groups were disrupted, and two rifles as well as two sets of poaching equipment retrieved. Although no arrests were made, it can be said with confidence that if the Meerkat was not operational on this night, anything between four to eight (or more) rhino may have been killed.
This is the first time that this kind of technology is being applied in a counter-poaching role in a bushveld environment, which makes the system unique. Smart thinking in its development allows it to differentiate between humans and animals, while its application will guarantee early warning and rapid response capabilities. This will augment ranger reaction times, allow for better preparation and support the proactive apprehension of poachers, which could save the lives of both humans and animals. In addition, the system has been designed to be mobile so that it can be rapidly deployed to prevent poaching crisis zones from developing.
The current system - although operational and already proving its worth - is still in a development phase with efforts ongoing to optimise and expand functionality as well as to refine the manner in which the system is integrated into Kruger National Park’s reaction force and counter-poaching strategies. Research and development of the wide area surveillance system, as well as the production of the initial prototype, was funded jointly by SANParks, CSIR and Peace Parks Foundation – as part of the Dutch Postcode Lottery’s support to the Rhino Protection Programme. Funding for the production and deployment of the first production system was secured thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
27 November 2017Protecting the 'birthplace of rhino'
The birthplace of rhino” – this is the name often given to Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP) in KwaZulu-Natal where the southern white rhino was saved from the brink of extinction half a century ago.read more
27 July 2017'We can make a difference,' says Vietnamese Youth
The continued senseless killing of African rhino for their horn, is driven by the demand for horn in primary consumer countries in Asia, such as Vietnam and China. More than 90% of horn goes to or thrread more
6 July 2017Lions poisoned for bone trade
[Maputo, 5 July 2017] On 3 July 2017 the tracks of three poachers were detected in the Intensive Protection Zone of Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. These were followed and it became clear that theread more
28 June 2017Dynamic alliance established to bolster rhino anti-poaching efforts
On the western boundary of Kruger National Park (KNP), private and community-owned game reserves - represented as the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) - have joined forces wiread more
12 May 2017More than 10 000 Vietnamese businesspeople reached
Quang Ninh, Viet Nam, May 2017—Since June 2015, more than 10 000 businesspeople across 45 Vietnamese cities and provinces have gained the tools and methods to adopt corporate social responsibility (read more
11 April 2017In order to stop the killing, we have to stop the demand.
The demand for rhino horn in Asian countries remains one of the main driving forces behind the escalation in poaching of rhinos in Southern Africa, with more than 80% of illegally trafficked rhino horread more
19 January 2017 Cooking up a storm to encourage legal and sustainable foods for the Lunar New Year holidays, instead of threatened wildlife
Hanoi, Viet Nam — TRAFFIC and the Centre for Women and Development (CWD) held a cooking competition in Hanoi in January where nearly 100 people showed their commitment to wildlife protection.read more
12 January 2017TRAFFIC brings hospitality enterprises together to stop illegal wildlife trade
Hanoi, Viet Nam— In December, nearly 50 representatives from hotel and tourism enterprises were equipped with the tools to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that reject the consumread more
29 November 2016 Prescribing the balance of nature to traditional medicine schools
Some of the Traditional Medicine "champions" trained during one of two workshops held by TRAFFIC and the National Centre for Health Communication and Education © TRAFFIC Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, 2read more