GPS Trackers For Rhinos
GPS Trackers Hope To Keep Rhinos Safe From Hunters
South Africa is one of the most beautiful and pristine places in the entire world. Only in Africa can people get a glimpse of elephant families walking through the wild to find water, lions cruising through the prairies without boundaries, and majestic rhinos strutting their big-horned stuff. Unfortunately, many poachers and hunters also travel to regions throughout Africa in hopes to bag some once-in-a-lifetime game. Whether the purpose is for ivory tusks, horns, or some other trophy, hunters walk into the wild with their high-powered rifles with no purpose other than to kill. The onslaught of killing by poachers has had devastating consequences on certain species of wildlife that call South Africa and surrounding areas home. Looking to put an end to the senseless violence toward majestic animals living in South Africa, the North West Park Board has begun taking steps to protect rhinos through the process of GPS tracking.
Rhinos are hunted and killed for their horns by poachers for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that rhino horn has long been viewed as an essential ingredient in many traditional Chinese medicines. With China overtaking Japan as the world’s second-largest economy, more money has been going to the Asian country, resulting in an increase in spending by the Chinese people. Unfortunately, the improved financial conditions in China have resulted in an increase in the demand for items such as rhino horn, which has been medically proven to have zero medicinal strength. The fight against poachers is an ongoing and seemingly never-ending problem, especially now that demand has increased for rhino horns.
Some animal conservationists believe nearly 250 rhinos were killed in South Africa this year alone by poachers looking to obtain rhino horns.
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GPS Tracking: Protecting Rhinos Through Satellite Monitoring
What the North West Park Board is now doing to help protect rhinos living in the Mafikeng Game Reserve is hooking the animals up with GPS trackers. How the GPS monitoring plan is being conducted is relatively simple. First, rhinos are safely captured from the wild. Then the scientists will drill a very small hole into the horn of the rhino, placing a tracking system inside the horn that will transmit location-based information. The procedure is quick and causes no harm or pain to the rhino. Once the GPS device is placed in the horn of the rhino, scientists and other researchers can then monitor the rhino’s movements, looking for abnormal activity that suggests that the rhino is being targeted by poachers. Abnormal activity includes things such as sleeping for over 6 hours per day or extended durations of running.
Currently, GPS tracking devices have been placed in the horns of 5 different rhinos living in South Africa.
Hopefully, through the use of GPS monitoring equipment, more poachers will be caught and arrested for the killing of rhinos. The problem is ongoing, but with the dedication and drive of researchers and scientists maybe the problem will one day fade away.
How Does GPS Tracking Help In Conserving Black Rhinos?
GPS technology helps in tracking the movement patterns of black rhinos, which helps conservationists to identify the areas where the animals are most active. This information can be used to establish protected areas and corridors, which are crucial for the survival of the species. By monitoring the rhinos’ movements, researchers can also identify potential threats, such as poaching, and take action to prevent them.
Source: “Tracking rhinos with GPS to help stop poaching” – BBC News
How Accurate Are GPS Tracking Devices For Black Rhinos?
GPS technology is very accurate and can provide real-time data on the location of black rhinos. This helps conservationists to monitor the animals’ movements and behavior, which is crucial for their protection. GPS tracking can also be used to establish the rhinos’ home ranges and preferred habitats, which can inform conservation efforts.
Can GPS Tracking Help In Preventing The Extinction Of Black Rhinos?
Yes, GPS technology is a valuable tool in the fight against the extinction of black rhinos. By tracking the animals’ movements and behavior, conservationists can identify areas that are critical for their survival and take action to protect them. This can include establishing protected areas, increasing patrols to prevent poaching, and implementing other conservation measures.
Source: “GPS tracking helps protect endangered black rhinos” – Mongabay
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.