Saving The Rhino
enChoice, Inc. has partnered with Welgevonden Game Reserve (WGR) to provide project management and technical support for the unique Welgevonden Wildlife Protection Program.
The Wildlife Protection Program (WPP) is a unique program aimed at using advanced technology including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and animal behavioral research to protect threatened species, in particular the Rhino, from devastating poaching threats. The project’s initial implementation is at the Welgevonden Game Reserve, located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Historically the Rhino has had no natural predators; survival was virtually guaranteed due to its massive size and killer horn. But the world has since changed and the Rhino’s horn is no longer a defense, but instead a highly sought after and valued item. Exacerbated by the involvement of International Crime Syndicates, Rhinos are now suffering devastating poaching which threatens the very survival of the species.
In the ground-breaking Wildlife Protection Program, a variety of ungulate (or hooved) species are fitted with specially designed sensors to record their movement and analyze their reactions to environmental events. As the data is collected, rule-based patterns or algorithms are used to predict when the prey-animals respond to various perceived human threats. If suspicious activity is detected, action can be taken immediately to locate and protect the threatened animal.
The Proof of Concept has been successfully completed for the WPP, leading to the conclusion that by using this technology rhino poaching success rates can drop from around 90% to single digits.
Participants in the Program
- IBM provides IoT and Operations Control technology
- Wageningen University handles the animal behavioral algorithms
- MTN provides the communications layer
- enChoice provides project management and technical support
Preparations are now underway to launch the full-fledged operation, which will involve both finalizing and testing the technical infrastructure and collaring approximately 3,000 sentinel animals including Zebra, Wildebeest, Kudu and Eland. to learn more about how you can join enChoice in Saving the Rhinos.
Want to help? Click here to learn more about how you can join enChoice in Saving the Rhinos.