Can Google-Awarded Satellite Cams Help Catch Poachers In Africa?

Can Google-Awarded Satellite Cams Help Catch Poachers In Africa?

High-tech cameras are being installed behind tall grass and trees in an Africa game reserve that shoot photos of approaching wildlife and poachers, then alert game wardens and wildlife enthusiasts around the world via satellite, according to an NBCNews report.

The motion of an animal or poacher approaching the camera is enough to trigger a clandestine snapshot, the report said.

Near real-time delivery of the pixels “gives the park rangers plenty of time to get out there and intercept whatever is going on,” said Richard Traherne, head of the wireless division at Cambridge Consultants, a U.K. product development and technology company.

The company built the system for the Zoological Society of London as part of its Instant Wild project, which delivers near real-time wildlife images to anyone who downloads an app. The project received a $780,000 Global Impact Award from Google earlier this year.

The system is being used in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. In the coming years, the technology may spread to other parts of Africa, the report said.

The satellite-connected cameras are an improvement over other remote-triggered cameras that have been in the arsenal of wildlife researchers for years, according to Traherne.