Latest Sightings

Latest Sightings is a mobile app that allows visitors of the Kruger National Park in South Africa to share photos of wildlife and park activity in real time. Released in 2012, the application works in a similar way to a social media feed. Users can submit “Tings” (sightings), which include a photograph, location, and description. Tings are categorized by predators versus non predators (with birds in a separate category), reptiles, and scenery. The app also notifies park users of sightings near them, which can be found ranked chronologically on a map. While they may not be able to contribute, individuals from around the world can view “Tings” in order to get their daily dose of nature. On the surface, the app may appear to only be functional for the viewing pleasures of visitors and interested wildlife enthusiasts, but Latest Sightings merges its leisure portion with more serious contributions. The “Tings” are fed into a variety of research initiatives, but also serve as an alert mechanism to report snared animals or suspicious activity. Kruger National Park prohibits hunting of game, yet poachers still attempt to entrap and kill many of the most attractive megafauna. Latest Sightings has already saved injured rhinos, hyenas, wild dogs and lions, but currently only functions as an alert tool within the park’s boundaries. 

Büscher, B. (2016). “Reassessing fortress conservation? New media and the politics of distinction in Kruger National Park“.


Biodiversity, Citizen Science, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Illegal Resource Extraction, Internet of Things, Lifestyle, Monitoring, Regulation, Visual Technologies