Technology can save Rhinos by advancing our ability to monitor through cameras, movement sensors, information, and drones. The advancement and implementation of these technologies is critical in the effort to stop poaching. Today there are thousands of square miles of protected wilderness in remote regions around the world. But without someone to watch over those areas the protection doesn’t occur. Mostly understaffed or under-budgeted, these protection areas are serving as a beacon for poachers looking for endangered animals such as Rhinos. With new drone and camera technology we may soon be able to implement strategies to monitor large areas for animal activity and poachers. Drones serve as a short term approach as they can only stay up for a short period of time. A more consistent approach may require that small balloons are put in the air on a tether with a camera hanging for monitoring a large area.

If the Rhinos are tagged with beacons or tracking devices the logic can be implemented in a system to have the camera track the Rhino’s location. This may not prevent poachers immediately, however the ability to review camera footage would provide invaluable information for tracking down and punishing those responsible.  Check out this Rhino Foundation actively using drones to enhance support and protection: https://www.savetherhino.org/rhino_info/thorny_issues/the_use_of_drones_in_rhino_conservation

Technology should be viewed as an opportunity to proactively prevent further murder of Rhinos and other endangered animals. One camera high in the air to monitor a large area may prove more effective than 20 people on the ground. As a reactive approach drone technology can save rhinos by quickly obtaining information on an area or particular animal suspected to be under stress.  This is even more advantageous where a car may be invasive, possibly dangerous (if poachers or animals are present), and much slower to traverse the terrain.

I would like to see more charities that collect millions of dollars for Rhino preservation enhance their use of such technologies for large scale implementation. The results would likely prove that technology can save Rhinos and many other species.

Shark Week is making waves…. But what about all the species of animals that are misunderstood? I watched several of the shark week shows on the Discovery Channel throughout the week and it’s apparent that there is a large push from scientists and individuals to get the message out that sharks’ image is hurting itself.

These bold explorers are pushing the point that sharks aren’t the cold killers we envision them as, but beautiful creatures that have mastered their environment and are just trying to survive. Many of the attacks that have taken place provoke thoughts of these animals attacking human kind, but the scientists are pushing new motives. Some of these attacks may be exploratory, or defensive. We should keep in mind that we are entering their world, a world many would say we barely know and understand.

These innovative thoughts are huge step forward for man and bring us much closer to understanding our ecosystem. Hopefully in the future these types of documentaries, stories, and shows will filter into other domains, such as the African wilderness. There are numerous animals still not understood.

Although the Rhinos do get a lot of attention in the US and there are several organizations attempting to help them such as www.wearjamescomfort.com, this is a small step in a world of several billion people.

Sharks are netted and fished for a prized piece, the fin much like Rhinos are poached for their horns.  The fins of a shark can fetch thousands of dollars and draw many similarities for their market to the Rhino and Elephant. The Fins of sharks are used in medicinal soups and other recipes across much of Asia.  It appears there is a similar plight between Sharks and Rhinos.

If Shark Week can find a way to curb the market on Shark Fins and hunting them, perhaps others investing in the preservation of endangered species like Rhinos and Elephants can follow step and curb the demand for tusks and horns. Let’s hope the trend continues and Shark Week can attack the root problem of much of the shark hunting and killing and use that in the future for other animals.