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Monday, July 31, 2017

This African park has a high-tech plan to combat poachers

This African park has a high-tech plan to combat poachers

Security has long been a major concern at wildlife reserves in Africa, where rhino and elephant populations have been decimated by poachers in recent years. But a park in Rwanda is betting on a new networking technology to change that.

This week, Rwanda’s Akagera National Park launched a new system that allows park rangers to monitor animals, visitors, and equipment in real-time. Developed by the Dutch conservation organizations ShadowView and Internet of Life, the so-called “smart park” system is based on a Long Range Wide-Area Network (LoRaWAN) — a low-bandwidth, low-power networking technology that can blanket large areas at relatively low costs.

LoRaWAN technology has already been used to develop internet of things (IoT) networks in Amsterdam and other “smart cities;” the groups behind the smart park think it could help keep poachers off protected lands, as well. Unlike easily interceptable radio frequencies, commonly used to track animals in other parks, the smart park’s signals are sent on a closed network across multiple frequencies, making the network more difficult to access. And LoraWAN systems are far less expensive than satellite-based tracking, offering an extra advantage to cash-strapped parks. As the system evolves, it could also provide a valuable source of real-time data to help managers and rangers respond to incidents across the 433-square-mile park, where 3G and 4G connections are unreliable.

Full story at

Source: The Verge

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