Harnessing IBM to help protect endangered African Rhinos
Over the past decade, more than 7,000 rhinos have been killed across the African continent.
South Africa’s Welgevonden Game Reserve is home to most of the remaining rhinos, and fortunately they’ve found how to stay one step ahead of heavily armed poachers – by introducing IBM Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, and Predictive Analytics.
Put together by a partnership including leading African telecommunications provider MTN, the Dutch Wageningen University, and Prodapt, the MTN Connected Wildlife Solution utilises sensor-embedded collars placed upon wildebeest, impala, and zebras – but not the rhinos.
The rhinos’ precise whereabouts remains hidden yet, using IBM’s IoT platform, the responses of the other animals to disturbances such as tourists or potential poachers are closely monitored and compared to algorithm-based patterns. This triggers an early warning system allowing the reserve to proactively respond as soon as poachers are detected, long before any attack might occur.
The solution is set to be expanded to cover other reserves, protecting elephants, lions and any other animals targeted by poachers.