A new series of sensor-laden cameras has been created for wildlife areas to detect poaching activities and send out early warnings. This rugged, stealth technology could protect endangered animals, particularly rhinos that are targeted for their horns.
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The cameras were created by the international product development company Cambridge Consultants in collaboration with animal conservationists from the Zoological Society of London and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
Although motion-triggered camera traps have been around for a while now, the new ones are quite advanced. The camouflaged cameras (video) are designed to be rugged enough to withstand harsh weather conditions and wild animals. According to Cambridge Consultants, the cameras also include sensors that detect vibrations from vehicles and can triangulate the sound of gunshots. That means park rangers can immediately find where poachers are and intervene.
So far the cameras are being installed in Kenya's Tsavo National Park, where rangers hope to reduce poaching instances over the next two years. The cameras are connected to the global Iridium satellite communication network and work with the free Instant Wild app, which lets anyone see the photos immediately. The smartphone-wielding public is encouraged to identify any animals in the images as part of a larger effort to help conservationists monitor wildlife.