Integrated technology platform to support conservation – protecting wildlife and people

Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Publicado: 08 Octubre 2021
Última edición: 14 Octubre 2021
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Resumen

Ol Pejeta is home to the largest population of critically endangered black rhinos in E. Africa. Protecting them and other wildlife is a great responsibility and we utilize technology where it adds value. In 2019 we rolled out EarthRanger (ER), a software platform that collects protected area activity information (the animals and assets being protected, the rangers protecting them, and threats of potential poaching) into a single, integrated, real-time visualized operational platform. It amalgamates data from different sources including animal GPS tracking collars, ranger digital radio systems/vehicle trackers, and ranger recorded observations. ER allows us to see key information in one place, enabling informed and faster conservation-related operational decisions.

ER was developed in collaboration with Vulcan Inc. through our Conservation Tech Lab. The Lab acts as a field-based space for technologists and scientists to test and deploy solutions, but also as a center for collaboration, learning and sharing knowledge.

Classifications

Región
África Oriente y África del Sur
Escala de aplicación
Local
Ecosistema
Agro-ecosistema
Ecosistemas de pastizales
Pastizales templados, sabana, matorral
Pasto
Tema
Caza furtiva y delitos ambientales
Conectividad / conservación transfronteriza
Especies y la extinción
Gestión de tierras
Gestión y planificación de áreas protegidas y conservadas
Retos
Sequía
Lluvia errática
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Pérdida de la biodiversidad
Cacería furtiva
Cambios en el contexto socio-cultural
Desempleo / pobreza
Objectivos de Desarrollo Sostenible
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
Metas de Aichi
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 12: Reducir el riesgo de extinción
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento
Metas del marco de Sendai
Meta 7: Incrementar la disponibilidad de, y el acceso a un sistema de alerta temprana para múltiples peligros y a información y evaluaciones sobre riesgos de desastre para la población al 2030.

Ubicación

Nanyuki, Laikipia, Kenya
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Retos

The main challenges include:

  • Effective protection of endangered wildlife with limited resources and over large areas. The Conservancy covers 110,000 acres and with only 3 field-based teams patrolling at any one time, it is crucial that we can focus our rangers in the right places at the right times. It is also critical to automatically identify areas that are not adequately monitored/patrolled and measures to address this can be put in place
  • Current methods of collecting and reporting field data (wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching, fencing) are largely manual and require updating. Digitising this will enable faster transfer of accurate data from the source.
  • Navigating data sets and systems and accessing them quickly to inform decisions. We use a range of different technologies and data. Knowing where to look for what information and in full context was a challenge.  

Beneficiarios

The main beneficiaries are Ol Pejeta’s staff – the rangers, security, Ecological Monitoring Unit, and conservation management team. In addition, the 20 communities (35,000 people) living around the conservancy through enhanced human wildlife conflict response.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

Building block 1 (platform solution design) provides the overall framework for the integration of different data sets. Building block 2 (ranger report design) is one of those data sets and a key source of information that underpins the platform. The platform and data sets work together to provide easy and quick access to the right information in one place to inform effective decision making. Digitisation of ranger reports allows faster transfer of accurate data. The visual display of different data also supports this decision making, allowing effective deployment of patrols in high-risk areas and rapid response to security and human wildlife conflict incidents. This supports effective operations, improving the security and health of wildlife and protecting community livelihoods.

Impactos positivos

Environmental:

  • Enhanced protection of wildlife. ER has been critical to supporting our security efforts and we have had zero poaching on the conservancy for 3 years. It also forms part of our ecological monitoring efforts which allow us to protect all wildlife.
  • Evidence-based conservation management planning. Combining real time and historic data through Tableau analytics has provided richer information to support longer term planning. Appropriate management strategies and approaches are informed by evidence.

Social:

  • Safety and security for our patrol staff. Switching from analog comms to digital, and trackers on radios and vehicles ensures we know where our rangers are and can respond quickly in the event of an incident in the field, ultimately saving lives.
  • Managing Human Wildlife Conflict to support the 35,000 people living in communities around the conservancy. ER supports us in being able to respond to reported incidents rapidly and effectively. Data analysis enables us to monitor trends and deploy effective mitigation strategies.

Economic:

  • Operational efficiency. Effective deployment of 150 field staff ensuring no gaps in ranger patrol coverage.

Historia

Our EarthRanger platform integrates data from corridor monitoring cameras, identifying objects and movements, and distinguishing between people, vehicles, and animals. In one situation, the cameras triggered an alert after a vehicle was identified in the corridor – a space usually inaccessible to most. EarthRanger sent an image of the vehicle in real-time, alerting us to suspected potential poachers. The alert meant we were able to respond rapidly in a way we had not before. Security teams were sent immediately to the corridor.

 

Our fears were unfounded when the vehicle turned out to be lost tourists! Thankful that we were not dealing with a serious security incident, we were able to share with our visitors information on the EarthRanger system, how it works, and the benefits to conservation. This provided us with an unique engagement opportunity and a very different tourism experience for them!

Contribuido por

Kate Terriere Ol Pejeta Conservancy