Wildlife & Conservation – Wildlife Tracking System
Tracking Endangered Wildlife to Benefit the Environment & Local Economy
How could your Conservation project benefit from bespoke Wildlife Tracking Solutions that are specifically tailored to your target animals’ biology and behaviour; the local environment; availability of power sources; and scale and cost requirements?
NFC Group creates comprehensive Wildlife Tracking Solutions using specially designed GPS collars and the Orion Data Network RFID GPS Tags. These solutions provide invaluable data every 30 seconds, giving you information on location, movement patterns, health, habitat utilisation, population demographics, poaching incidents and escapes.
NFC Group is proud to have created a bespoke tracking solution for the Black Rhinos of Tanzania that combats the unique and complex challenges of these majestic animals and their habitat. We look forward to assisting in the conservation of other endangered animals and their environments, all over the world.
The Far-reaching Effects of the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Poaching & Construction
The world is currently experiencing an unwelcome spike in the illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking trade run by vast underground crime networks. Rhino horn is in great demand in Asian countries, and increasingly globally, for its perceived healing properties and as a status symbol; ivory remains a high value black market commodity; and tigers are still pursued for their skin and bones. In addition, big game hunters are paying increasingly huge amounts of money to illegally shoot endangered wildlife for ‘sport’ and trophies. The animals’ natural habitats are also facing disruption from large-scale building projects that are not sufficiently considering access to waterways and herd and migration routes, forcing the animals to cross highways and navigate rural communities.
Environment and Economy
Of course, these activities do not only threaten extinction to the endangered species themselves, they also hugely disrupt the ecology and local environment, causing irreparable damage to the natural habitat. They even impact the local economy as the tourism trade dies off when the animals are not in situ to be viewed on safari expeditions. Elephants for example, are a keystone species with a pivotal role in engineering the structure of plant and other animal communities in their natural habitats. When natural migration areas are blocked, the population density increases in one area and the elephants themselves can cause damage to the environment by, for example, over-consuming the vegetation.
Bespoke Wildlife Tracking Solutions
Africa alone has over 400 known species of endangered animals and tracking and monitoring them to ensure their security and better understand their behaviour and needs is an essential and critical step in their conservation. Tracking wildlife can be a complex business as the animals’ characteristics, behaviour and environment and the resources of the conservation projects all cause technology challenges that need to be expertly overcome to create an efficient solution.
Tracking the Black Rhinos of Tanzania
NFC Group recently created the W360 Wildlife Tracking Collar for a conservation client working with the Black Rhinos in Tanzania.
The Rhinos’ physiology, behaviour and habitat presented a unique set of challenges that made this a particularly interesting project for NFC Group’s designers and experts:
- There is was no GSM signal in the region where the black rhinos lived, meaning we could not use SIM cards.
- There was no mains power in the conservation area.
- It was essential for the Wildlife Collar to report back as frequently as possible to ensure the security of the Rhinos.
- Due to the Rhino’s lifestyle and the difficulties of handling them, battery life in excess of 1 year, on a single charge, was a necessity.
- The Wildlife Tracking Solution had to be created within cost and system scalability requirements.
Features of the W360 Wildlife Tracking Collar
NFC Group designers rose to the challenge and created the ideal solution for tracking the Rhinos, meeting all the game reserve client’s expectations and exceeding many. The collar is connected to NFC Group’s first to market RFID powered Orion Data Network and has the following features:
A combination of GPS tracking technologies in conjunction with our Orion Data Network RFID GPS Tags
Modified Orion RFID GPS Tag mounted onto a padded kevlar collar with specialist security bolts.
A solar powered Orion satellite base station to overcome the challenges of having no central power source.
A 7 KM squared Orion hotspot network with a rechargeable backup battery combat the issues caused by having no GSM and the high batter demand of GPS.
GPS tags report every 30 seconds and relay the data over RFID back to the base stations.
The Orion Data Network now operates fully independently of power, for 3 years at time, with real time tracking, to keep the Black Rhinos secure.
Other NFC Wildlife Tracking System
Airborne tracking and airborne surveillance can also play an important part in tracking wildlife. NFC Group employs a dedicated pilot and operates from a local airfield. Since height is an important element when looking for either beacon mode or Orion tags, utilising an aircraft speeds up the process of locating and recovering wildlife which is on the move.
NFC Group’s Wildlife Tracking Solutions are efficient and effective because we take the time to understand the reasons behind conservation and tracking and the particular requirements of our conservation clients’ research, environment and goals.
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