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Saving Endangered Species Globally in 2018: Current Efforts to Fight Poaching

Every time I read the statistics on this subject, it makes me wonder: where is this world going? Nature, as well as wildlife, decrease in growing numbers. We are currently facing the fact that 1% of Earth’s species (homo sapiens) are destroying the other 99%. One of the biggest causes of the extinction of the other 99%, is poaching. Illegal killing and captivating of endangered species, is particularly worse in poorer countries; where even harsh punishment stops no poacher. What are the measures people are taking to stop this cruel, insensitive treatment of our animals and wildlife in 2018?

Technology Helps Fighting Poaching

Technology serves both to improve our lives and save others. What are the gadgets which are used in fighting poaching?

1. In Kenya, scientists believe that Seismic sensors (used for earthquake detection) can also be used to track elephant poachers in real time. How exactly would it work? As elephants move, they cause vibrations, which can be captured by seismic sensors, from three kilometres away. Researchers suggest using such sensors in parks, so they can detect a running herd, which would indicate that a poacher is likely chasing them. Drones are also used for poacher tracking.

2. NASA’s astrophysical software is also utilized to help. Software, originally used to track stars, is believed to be able to work well for observing animals at night time (peak time for poaching) and at large, hard to reach areas.

3. Cold-blooded poachers use snares to captivate wild animals by their necks. By setting up snares, they capture species such: lions, cheetahs, leopards and painted dogs by the neck. It often results in a slow and painful death as animals are left captivated until the poacher returns. The Wildlife Act Fund found a solution - snare-proof collars that send emergency alerts. The mechanism in the collar would grab the snare and prevent the animal from injury and death. Immediately after this, the collar sends an alert to the Wildlife Act Fund team, which can then locate the captured animal, help it, and release it back into the wild.

4. Robotics. In South Carolina, Arizona and Indiana, deer poaching was getting out of hand. One day the idea to use robotic deer look-a-likes to catch poachers was born. A model currently costs 1500 – 3000 $, and it is durable for up to 1000 shots. Robotic deer move their body parts and look incredibly similar to real deer. As soon as deer-robot is shot, the officers get a signal and can organise their enforcements to arrive. Perhaps that would work well in all protection for all endangered species.

5. Various similar technological gadgets also used in prevention are: drones, tiny cameras hidden in various places (created by TrailGuards), Google Earth to track the movement intensity of the herds.

Community Efforts to Help

It is commendable to see civilians who want to help save rhinos and take serious action to it. One example, is Joe Braman, a Texas resident, who couldn’t stand idea of rhinoceros facing extinction due to a rapid poaching. Mr. Braman decided to act and started training his coonhounds to track poachers. Dogs, trained in Texas, USA, are now being flown to South Africa to begin their mission. Sending them only the best vibes!
 

So what can you do to help?

Illegal trading/selling of parts poached from endangered species are happening online, via various sales and social media platforms, on a daily basis. IFAW has undertaken an investigation and managed to track down numerous suspicious cases. Constant vigilance is crucial and you can be part of it. Whenever you witness any suspicious online or physical trading of endangered animal parts, report the illegal activity to the platform support team and/or authorities immediately.

The first step to action is awareness.