Satellite smart cameras help combat poaching of endangered species

Sept. 12, 2013
Motion sensing cameras with Raspberry Pi micro-computers were designed by Cambridge Consultants to detect poaching activities and send out early warnings.

A joint project between Cambridge Consultants and animal conservationists from the Zoological Society of London and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has resulted in the creation of a series of motion-sensing satellite cameras designed to detect poaching activities and send out early warnings.

The cameras developed by Cambridge Consultants are housed in camouflage and are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and wild animals, according to Discovery News. In addition, the cameras feature Raspberry Pi micro-computers and LED flash lighting for night and day image capturing. The images taken by the camera are sent back over the Iridium satellite communication network and a mobile app allows users anywhere in the world to view the photos and identify the animals by cross-checking with a field guide provided in the app.

Patrick Omondi, deputy director of wildlife conservation at KWS said in a press release that the technology will enable them to make breakthroughs in the day-to-day work with endangered species.

“We manage around eight per cent of the total land mass of Kenya – and these cameras will be critical in helping us monitor the wellbeing of rare animals and ensure their habitats remain protected from poachers,” he said. “Through our work with ZSL and Cambridge Consultants, we want to help raise awareness of vulnerable species and the risks they face every day.”

The cameras are set to be installed in Kenya, and from there, Cambridge Consultants says that there are also plans to extend it to cover locations such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas, and the South Pole.

View the Cambridge Consultants press release.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Former VSD Editor James Carroll joined the team 2013.  Carroll covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles, Carroll managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.

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