Earlier this year, WWF installed two systems in a protected area in central Kenya where endangered white and black rhino roam along with poachers.
Nine months later, this investment is paying off. More than two dozen poachers have been arrested in the Maasai Mara thanks to this new thermal infrared camera that monitors a portion of the park’s border and has been installed on mobile wildlife ranger units. “Wildlife rangers now have the help they’ve desperately needed. This groundbreaking technology allows them to search for poachers 24 hours a day, from up to a mile away, in pitch darkness. It’s upping the game in our fight to stop wildlife crime across the region,” says Colby Loucks, WWF’s Wildlife Crime Technology Project Lead.
Forward-looking infrared, otherwise known as FLIR, contains human detection software technology which detects body heat and translates that to a live stream video monitored by a ranger.
WWF’s Wildlife Crime Technology Project was able to implement this project thanks to a $5 million grant from Google.org. WWF is continuing to collaborate with FLIR Systems Inc., as they test out this technology in drones in Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Learn more about WWF’s Wildlife Crime Technology Project