Tanzania: Relief As Experts Devise Anti-Poaching Techniques


Deus Ngowi, Tanzania Daily News

Date Published
Arusha: Tanzania may soon make a breakthrough in her efforts to protect elephants, rhinos and other wildlife in danger of extinction, experts have said.

Bathawk Recon Executive Director Mike Chambers, who came in Africa in the 1980s, said here in an interview yesterday that technical innovation was about to revolutionise the best ways to preserve the protected areas and guard the iconic species.

If the claim is anything to go by, Tanzania’s species may breathe a sigh of relief, as poachers are likely to find it hard to count their footsteps inside the national parks. Mr Chambers said the movements for innovative ideas like drone antipoaching or integrated incident databases, are highly considered and driven forward, thanks to their attractiveness in the market of online content.

Experts say there are many technological options to help conservation authorities to protect wildlife in Africa and elsewhere, globally. They insist that there are a number of major created initiatives, with centralised data bases to integrate information from across protected areas to enable rangers react in real time.

Mr Chambers noted that the key physical locations can be equipped with movement sensitive cameras that record activity and feed into analysis in real time to describe the movement of wildlife in the protected areas. “Shot triangulation sensitive gadgets can be set up, spread out across the park and linked to the central analysis point.

This system will triangulate on any shot, allowing rangers to proceed to the site without delay,” he said. According to the expert, drones can be used either tactically or strategically to extend and enhance the capability of rangers or find suspicious activity.

Bathawk Recon Public Liaison Officer Idrisa Jaffary said the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), widely referred to as drones, is effective and that trials have proved positive results. He insisted that between the technical opportunities, there is an equation that varies with circumstances and defines the best combination of technology.

“These bespoke combinations are the key to saving our wildlife. However, they will not stand up and decide on their own and explain how to deploy them,” said Mr Jaffary, adding that the job depends on if children will ably ever see an elephant walking across the African savannah.

“Just like in politics, one has to work a lot harder to find something to believe in… in the time frames of wildlife technical innovation, this creates a problem which leads to an unfortunately negative corollary,” he said.

He revealed that to carry out UAV anti-poaching, one needs to calculate how loud the aircraft is and how far away one needs to be while still able to capture wildlife and human images during day and night.

According to the officer, what works in that part of the equation has to be tested and tried to fit the landscape and the scale of the protected areas. And, that in turn needs to fit with the protected area, institutional structure and organisational relationship needs to be viable and fair in terms of funds and resources, he said.

Mr Jaffary noted that the larger conservation community needs to bring some focus and intent to the development of innovation, need their leadership towards real solutions and actual goals. Tanzania has been facing a serious poaching problem, compelling the government to change the Tanzania National Parks into a paramilitary machinery.