Since the pandemic began, we’ve all relied much more on technology. When we can’t share special moments with loved ones in person, we stay connected online. For many of us, technology has been a lifeline.
Since even before the outbreak of Covid-19, technology has been a lifeline for conservation too, helping us keep in touch with rhinos and keep them safe.
In the arid landscapes of Namibia, a rhino monitor uses a radio receiver to track a newly translocated rhino. In an Indonesian forest, a hidden camera silently records the passing of an elusive Sumatran rhino. In Kenya, cameras keep a constant guard over every conservancy entrance, beaming real-time information back to the control room. On South African reserves, remote monitors watch over endangered rhinos, and rangers rely on the latest radio technology to coordinate anti-poaching missions, heading off would-be poachers.
Keeping rhinos and rangers connected at uMkhuze Game Reserve
In uMkhuze Game Reserve, in South Africa, technology is vital. As a relatively small park situated close to the border of Mozambique, the anti-poaching team relies on cameras and surveillance equipment to help them react quickly to potentially deadly incursions. High-power radios allow rangers to keep ahead of possible poachers and make arrests before intruders can escape, protecting the precious rhinos and other wildlife that make uMkhuze so special, and so tempting to poachers.
But Covid-19 has put a huge strain on conservation budgets. Finding enough money for hidden cameras and infrared tracking software is almost impossible when you’re struggling to buy fuel for your patrol vehicles, rations for rangers, and uniforms to replace old, tired kit. Yet, the incursions keep coming, often two a day, sometimes more – the need is real and urgent.
With limited new recruitment and already tight budgets, brave rangers at reserves like uMkhuze are under huge strain.
Adding new technology around the Reserve, such as an infrared monitoring system, can act as a force multiplier, meaning that rangers can protect more of the incredible and endangered wildlife, including the precious black and white rhinos, that call uMkhuze home.
You can help. With one click you can donate and help uMkhuze’s rangers purchase the essential surveillance equipment they desperately need to keep rhinos safe from poachers. Your one click can make all the difference, ensuring that the click heard at uMkhuze is a camera, not a rifle.