A new tracking device has been developed by Vodacom and I-Detect to monitor and record the movement of rhinos and prevent poaching.
A live tracking device collar is attached to the rhino’s ankle and is powered by a solar panel.
The device sends out three signals to alert rangers to possible instances of poaching: the first alarm signals when the rhino exceeds a speed of 6km; the second alarm signals when the rhino is stationary for more than two hours; and the third alarm signals when the rhino ventures out of its habitual graze-lands and fence.
The tracking devices positions via GPS and transmits the rhino’s location via GSM. Presenting the imitative to delegates at this year’s SATSA Conference, Tony Smallwood, Executive Head of Vodacom, pointed out that some poached rhino have survived days after being shot and dehorned and that the technology could save these rhinos and also prevent other instances of poaching by picking up on the rhino’s behaviour.
“Vodacom’s participation in this project is to provide the secure connectivity for the data that is collected on the tracking collar on the rhino’s ankle,” said Smallwood, Executive Head of Vodacom. Vodacom has a wide geographic coverage and is therefore, able to partner with I-Detect to provide this solution to rhino poaching, added Smallwood.