Anti rhino poaching efforts are tackling a new frontier: the internet. In South Africa, local 3G and 4G lines have been coordinated to combat rhino poaching in the country.

A combination of IBM’s Internet of Things, MTN’s 3G and 4G networks and a herd of zebras could be the latest defence against rhino poaching. Welgevonden Game Reserve is putting this latest method to the test.

How can the Internet of Things help?

Apart from employing the internet of things, other species in the animal kingdom have also been called to help out.  Zebra and buck species like eland, wildebeest and impala will be fitted with collars to track their movements and responses to danger. The movement of these flighty creatures will be tracked by Wageningen University, Netherlands. The pattern of movement differs if there is a lion vs. a poacher with a rifle.

Zebras have now become security against rhino poaching. Credit: Quartz.

The collars make use of LORA technology which emits long-range low power signals to send the data to the Internet of Things.

“For the data to be collected and analyzed you need to respond within 400 milliseconds or less,” explained Petrus Greyvenstein, IBM’s executive architect (Quartz).

A coalition of networks

Different groups are coming together to save the rhino species. South African cellular network MTN will be the network used to send the information from the animals to the satellite where it can be accessed through a mobile application.

MTN has linked with  International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) which links the devices.

“This will be a first of its kind to tackle the rhino poaching problem in Africa,’’ said Craig Holmes, a business development vice president at IBM. “The project is an example of how IBM is increasingly working with partners to roll out practical applications for the internet of things.’’ – Bloomberg.

Together, these two companies hope to bring the poaching ravaging South Africa to its knees.

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