Microsoft co-founder’s Vulcan is raising hope in the African Savanna as it aims at conserving using latest technology. Drones, big data, and animal collars are the tools in use to protect African elephants from poachers.
There are only 400,000 African elephants remaining in the wild. Their population is constantly hunted for ivory trade and bush meat trade. The population of African elephants declined by 8% between 2007 and 2014. Vulcan can play an important role in taking the conservation effort to the much-needed next level.
Vulcan operates through a wildlife monitoring platform known as ‘EarthRanger’. It provides real-time information as well as important patterns in relation to poaching activity. Also, Vulcan tools help plan patrols and set-up ambushes preemptively. Moreover, EarthRanger can reduce conservation costs significantly with a better allocation of resources.
Can Drone Technology Really Save the Majestic African Elephants?
African Savanna is already a home to other drone platforms. A prominent one known as ‘SMART’ (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) operates quite similar to Vulcan. As these platforms gain traction, some people question its potential to save the African elephants.
According to some conservation experts, measures such as cooperation between various players at different levels and community buy-in are crucial for conservation. Also, better prosecution and conviction outcomes are essential. Furthermore, poachers can also access critical information through drone technology. Consequently, poaching syndicates already have access to some of the best technology on the planet.
Technology may represent a giant leap in conservation efforts, but it cannot save the majestic African elephants alone.