South Africa is bringing in state of the art US military surveillance equipment in a bid to save South Africa’s endangered rhinos from poachers. Read more
It may sound extreme, but South Africa is desperate to ensure its last remaining wild rhino are safe from the evil poachers. The equipment is military radar technology that is used to locate enemies in war zones.
Diceros is a hugely important partnership between security design company Stone Holdings and wildlife monitoring organisation Wildlife ACT. It is the first company to offer the technology commercially as a weapon against rhino and other wildlife poaching. A small group of people were fortunate enough to witness the demonstration of the equipment yesterday.
The surveillance equipment includes radar tracking cameras that can detect movement over a 24 kilometre radius, thermal (heat-sensing) cameras, and communication detectors that can pick up a wide range signals from cell phones, satellite phones, and VHF (hand-held) radios. Excitingly, the radar trackers can be mounted on fixed towers at great height in order to cover the widest possible area of a reserve. Importantly, it can also be made mobile — mounted onto ground vehicles, or unmanned arial vehicles.
Additional technology, such as underground sensors and fence disturbance sensors which detect vibrations and sound, can be used to augment the camera surveillance. Leslie Steenkamp, Diceros Director, has described the system as a “first line of defence” against intruders, to prevent their getting anywhere near their prey to do them harm.
“This military standard equipment does not allow anyone, whether on foot, in any vehicle or even by air, undetected entry into the protected area.”
Both South African National Parks and private game reserve owners have expressed interest in Diceros’ surveillance system.
Of course it does not come cheap. But in our opinion, saving the rhino is priceless. If you look at money already spent in South Africa and all over the continent, it may very well be a better option in terms of success rates and affordability. That, only time will tell.
We will keep you posted on developments.
Thanks to News 24 and EnviroHealth Editor, Olivia Rose-Innes for bringing this story to life.