(SOUTH AFRICA)

Conservationists are using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to help protect Rhinos from poachers and potential extinction.

South Africa’s Welgevonden Game Reserve is the first to harness IoT in this way thanks to a collaboration between African telecom giant MTN, Wageningen University (WU) in Holland, and software firm Prodapt. They are using IBM IoT technology to support the MTN Connected Wildlife Solution initiative.

The system works by using other animals – like zebras – as sentinels, fitting them with sensors that detect a change in behaviour when they feel threatened. This means when they react to the sight of poachers, that change is reported to conservationists who can then track where the human danger lies and intercept them before they can get close to the rhinos.

“Over the years, we have seen that animal tracking technology has been used reactively in game reserves. Welgevonden needed a more proactive solution to take the fight to protect the rhinos further. With the solution designed for Welgevonden, MTN, along with our partners, can better predict and anticipate potential poaching activity. This allows the ranger to take pre-emptive action before any threat happens,” explained Mariana Kruger, General Manager at MTN Business.