Connected Conservation to Protect Wildlife in Kenya

Connected Conservation to Protect Wildlife in Kenya

July 13, 2020

Building on its alleged success of protecting rhino poaching in South Africa, Connected Conservation says its now expanding into Kenya to support six different conservancies.

NTT Ltd, along with long-time partner Cisco, announces the expansion of its Connected Conservation project to Northern Kenya. The project aims to support six different conservancies across more than 200,000 acres of land, inhabited by 14 percent of Kenya’s rhino population.

Connected Conservation creates protection for wildlife and the individuals in charge of their safety through technology such as LoRA WAN gateways, radio masts to form a point-to-point reserve area network, sensors, CCTV cameras and infrastructure for reliable solar power. These technologies identify any suspicious or illegal activity before anything happens to the animals.

The project began with a pilot in a private game reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, reducing rhino poaching by 96 percent in the first two years of installation. The project was the brainchild of Bruce Watson, one of the founders of Dimension Data, now part of NTT Ltd.

According to NTT, while the project in South Africa has dramatically decreased the amount of poaching, it is estimated that a rhino is still killed every 15 hours in Africa alone.

Wildlife is also currently facing increasing threats due to large scale ranger redundancies and decreasing numbers of patrols, as well as a decline in tourism. NTT Ltd. and Cisco says the project will help aid rangers by providing them with additional eyes and ears if they are forced to operate with smaller teams during these challenging times.

Using the technology, rangers can see the whole reserve and react quickly to any suspicious activity in a specific area. This enables reserves to monitor a large area and leaves the animals to roam freely, without causing any harm to them.

An online software tool called Earthranger allows rangers to collect, integrate and display all historical and real-time data available from the reserve so they can keep track of past incidences and respond adequately in a timely manner. This means rangers can intercept poachers quickly, as well as help the surrounding communities with human-animal conflict before any harm is done.

Commenting on the project NTT CMO Ruth Rowan says she is proud of the technology, and collaboration.

“I am proud of the work we’re doing to protect the wildlife and communities devastated by poaching across Africa. It’s proof that when working together we can change the course of the future and do great things. We’ll continue to work with the team in Northern Kenya to develop technology that further protects against poaching.  The effectiveness of Connected Conservation has been proven in South Africa so to expand it to Kenya is fantastic. To help reduce the ongoing threat, we need to arm even more reserves with the knowledge and tools to protect animals. Together we can not only drastically reduce poaching numbers, but eradicate it all together,” says Rowan.

Cisco Senior Director Global Strategic Partner Sales Chris Panzeca agrees.

“NTT and Cisco have joined forces to create a safer, more prosperous, and sustainable world for future generations. Connected Conservation mirrors the innovation we deliver our clients by using cutting-edge technology to solve their business needs, empower local communities, and protect endangered species. We’re extremely proud to expand Connected Conservation into Northern Kenya,” says Panzeca.

(Ed. To find out more about the goals of the Connected Conservation initiative click here.)

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