On Monday (3rd June) ZSL won a £500,000 grant from Google’s global impact awards to deploy next generation cameras to stop the poaching of rhinos and elephants in Kenya. The bid was one of ten from UK based charities and was unveiled as the public favourite at the event in London after it received a huge amount of public support. The campaign received fantastic support from the public and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Derren Brown, Ben Fogle, Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman.
Cameras with automated sensors will be deployed in poaching hotspots in Tsavo National Park, Kenya and images will be sent directly to park rangers. The cameras will also be able to detect vehicles from vibrations and triangulate gunshots. This information will allow rangers to intervene in any poaching attempt immediately.
Currently one rhino is killed every 11 hours in Africa due to the soaring demand for horn products. The hope is that these cameras, once installed, will be able to cut poaching in the National Park by 50 per cent.
The hope is that this technology can be used across the globe in different ecosystems to study and protect a number of species. It would be especially useful for EDGE species that are subject to poaching such as the saola and pangolin.
We are extremely excited by the prospect of this technology and will keep you updated on its progress.
To see the winners of Google’s global impact challenge visit the site here.