Tech-Fuelled Plan To Save Africa’s Big Beasts

Tech-Fuelled Plan To Save Africa’s Big Beasts.

The Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a community led, non-governmental organisation that was set up in 2004 in northern Kenya by a coalition of local leaders, politicians and conservation interests. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies, which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources. The 33 member conservancies work across 44,000 square kilometres of northern and coastal Kenya. With support from principal donors USAID, The Nature Conservancy, DANIDA, and AFD, and many smaller donors, NRT is supporting and empowering communities to develop locally-led governance structures, run peace and security programmes, take the lead in natural resource management, and manage sustainable businesses linked to conservation.

Responding to the elephant poaching crisis in 2016’s Great Elephant Census, philanthropist Paul G. Allen and his team of technologists and conservation experts partnered with park managers across Africa to provide a new technology platform to better protect this iconic species and other wildlife threatened by human activities. The Domain Awareness System (DAS) is a tool that aggregates the positions of radios, vehicles, aircraft and animal sensors to provide users with a real-time dashboard that depicts the wildlife being protected, the people and resources protecting them, and the potential illegal activity threatening them. The visualisation and analysis capabilities of DAS allow park managers to make immediate tactical decisions to then efficiently deploy resources for interdiction and active management. The system has been installed at six protected wildlife conservation sites since November 2016. Working with Save the Elephants, African Parks Network, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Singita Grumeti Fund as well as the Lewa Conservancy and Northern Rangelands Trust, a total of 15 locations are expected to adopt the system in 2017. Credit: NRT & Vulcan.

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