IBM’s Internet of Things (IoT) has been employed, in a collaboration with MTN and Wageningen University (WU) in the Netherlands and Prodapt, to battle the poaching of Rhinos at the Welgevoden Game Reserve in South Africa.
The IoT technology uses strong cognitive computing capabilities which gather, predict and understand recognised patterns and relationships in the huge data collected by sensors in the field of focus. The solution is expected to help predict threats and combat the poaching of endangered Rhinos at Welgevonden Game Reserve, with the intent to expand the solution to other reserves in the future.
Combined with MTN’s Connected Wildlife Solution, IBM’s IoT technology and the university’s predictive analysis will be used to create an innovative solution that gives game reserves a powerful tool in the fight to save endangered species.
Nigeria Communications Week reports that South Africa is home to more that 70 percent of the world’s remaining Rhino population and conservationists are battling to protect the dwindling number of these animals which are being hunted for their highly-prized horns. The past decade has seen over 7,000 Rhinos killed in the African continent, and 2016 saw 1,054 Rhinos killed in South Africa alone.
The IoT technology is used to solve problems using discovered patterns and tendencies. According to research conducted on Welgevonden Game Reserve, prey-animals in the wild react in different ways, depending on the type of threat they encounter and the perceived danger from predators such as lion and leopard or the presence of people in the vicinity. These reactions are used to detect when danger is near.
Collars, containing custom sensors, are fitted on prey-animals like zebras, impala etc., and their data are studied via the IoT platform. Patterns are created, and so a change in such pattern could warn of approaching danger, and can serve as an early warning to protect the Rhinos.
— Preshni Chellan (@preshnichellan) September 19, 2017
Hamilton Ratshefola, the General Manager of IBM, South Africa, says “The Internet of Things is changing the way we live and work, and we are finding new applications for IBM’s IoT technologies in businesses across the spectrum. Now we are helping curb Rhino poaching and preserve endangered species on the African continent. IBM IoT solutions enable businesses to solve industry specific problems and transform their companies and industries.”
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