By Joseph Muraya
The fight against rhino and elephant poachers in the Tsavo has received a boost in the form of a Sh70 million grant to deploy state-of-the-art camera traps in the vast conservancy. This was after conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) won the grant from Google’s Global Impact Awards to install a network of next generation cameras to help stop rhinos being slaughtered by gangs of armed poachers.
The crucial funding will see cameras with automated sensors installed in poaching hotspots within months – saving hundreds of animals over the next two years. As well as instantly transmitting images of park intruders to the rangers, the cameras can detect vehicles from vibrations and triangulate the sound of gunshots, so that park rangers can pinpoint the location of poachers and intervene immediately.
A public surge of support for the project saw huge numbers of people vote online for ZSL to receive this critical funding ahead of nine other finalists.
“These life-saving cameras will help stop the slaughter of rhinos, which has seen more than 1,000 killed in Africa in just eighteen months,” ZSL’s field conservation director, Prof Jonathan Baillie, said.
Kenya Wildlife Service Director, William Kiprono, said the award was a milestone in the protection of critically endangered species in large areas such as Tsavo which are more difficult to manage.
“We appreciate the continued partnership and collaboration with the Zoological Society of London which we have had for more than 20 years in veterinary services, species and ecological monitoring.” More....