SMS Could Save Endangered Animals in Kenya

Illustration for article titled SMS Could Save Endangered Animals in Kenya

Kenya has a lot of beautiful, rare animals, but unfortunately a lot of people are keen to kill them, and sell bits of them for money. Kenya's got a new plan to try to keep those poachers in check though, and it's good old-fashioned text messaging.


Instead of building inpenetrable walls, or electric fences covered in barbed wire in order to try and keep animals in reserves and poachers out of them, Kenya is toying with the idea of a text message alert system. If implemented, any breach of a park's perimeter would result in a flurry of text messages to the appropriate rangers, indicating exactly where the tresspassing happened, so they could go take care of it. It could cut instances of poaching by up to 90 percent.

The concern is that it could be expensive to rig up the boundaries of all the reserves, some of which are only marked on maps. Text messaging isn't the only tech solution on the table either, there's also a growing drone surveillance program. But if text messaging works well enough to keep sheep safe, maybe it can work for elephants too. [Fast Company]


Image by Graeme Shannon/Shutterstock

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We see tons of charities asking for money to fund elephant sanctuaries and the like, but where are the support the ranger charities?

I'd rather my donation go towards funding, and purchasing equipment for game rangers, like helicopters or drones, than protecting already orphaned animals. It would be an ounce of prevention so to speak. It could also pay for this smart fence.

Poaching laws are tough, but only if they are enforceable. Helicopters, drones, and smart fences are expensive, but effective ways to enforce anti-poaching laws. I'd love to help out the game rangers.