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How Technology is Used to Fight Poaching

Sara Rice, Social Media Intern, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

At wildlife reserves in Africa, a disturbing trend started to emerge. In the past few years, the rhino and elephant populations have been declining due to poaching, or the illegal hunting of wild animals. A national park in Rwanda has turned to technology to fight this issue.

Called a “smart park”, the new system is based on Long-Range Wide-Area Network (LoRaWAN) which is a low-bandwith networking technology that can cover large areas. Smart cities are using the same technology to develop their IoT networks. Park rangers are able to monitor the animals in real time, and unlike radio frequencies which are commonly used and hacked by poachers, the network is more secure. LoRaWAN systems are also less expensive than a satellite based tracking system.

One hundred solar-powered sensors have been placed within the park. The sensors are small enough that they can even be placed on the animals themselves. They collect important data and can help the rangers keep track of tourist vehicles or alert them to a malfunctioning electric fence. The system can be scaled up or down to accommodate the area that needs monitoring.

Smart cities technology, like the tech used to protect this national park, will be at CES 2018. Learn more.