Welgevonden Game Reserve tracking technology

Following private partnerships contracted by the South African government, violent wars against rhino poaching are raging in the country. While poaching has not increased, the sheer number of rhinos poached is still high. At the Welgevonden Game Reserve, IBM has helped create an IoT, cloud-powered predictive analysis tracking algorithm that helps indicate the presence of poachers (ie: when they are going to strike). Such technology is enabled by data analysis that determined different responses in prey depending on the predators they encounter (such as other animals, tourists, reserve personnel, and ), and came to fruition in 2017. Rhinos are purposely excluded from generic tracking modalities in order to ensure their anonymity to poachers. Rather, information on animals such as location, movement, direction and average speed are acquired by sensors. This information is then processed to create behavioural algorithms and led to Zebras becoming sentinels for the rhinos. The Zerba’s responses create an early warning system, which allows conservation officers to react preemptively to any potential rhino attacks. The only downfall to such algorithmic IoT solutions is that they require prompt human intervention, and serve only as a surveillance-based defence mechanism. 

Martin, B. (2019). “Technology to the Rescue. In Survival or Extinction?


Biodiversity, Data, Illegal Resource Extraction, Internet of Things, Monitoring