Climate Action

Pointless Poaching and Life-Saving Solutions

Did you know that every six hours a rhino is butchered in Africa? This unsettlingly high number puts this species in grave danger of extinction. The number of animals and plants at risk of extinction rose in 2015 despite government pledges to improve protection, with species under threat ranging from lions in West Africa to orchids in Asia. With this widespread issue comes a dying need for change. Fortunately enough, there is a new technological innovation that could help us save the animals. Poaching is one of the main reasons these animals are facing extinction. “We had to find a way to protect these animals effectively in the field—the killing has to be stopped,” said Chester University’s Dr. Paul O’Donoghue, who is also the chief scientific adviser for Protect, in a press release.” A British team has developed a new system to help catch and stop poachers, reported the BBC. With The Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device (aka RAPID) the heart-rate monitor triggers the alarm the instant a poaching event occurs, pinpointing the location within a few meters so that rangers can be on the scene, via helicopter or truck within minutes, leaving poachers no time to harvest the valuable parts of an animal or make good an escape. Not only is this a new invention, but it’s gaining the popularity and support it needs to make an impact in society. Humane Society International, which is working with the government of Vietnam to reduce demand for rhino horn, has supported the development of the device. Reducing market demand is exactly what we need if we want to save these animals and stop the current crisis. This is truly a step in the right direction. Sometimes technology is seen as the enemy when it comes to environmental progress. However, it looks like scientists and inventors have collaborated for the better to protect the endangered. Let’s hope we continue to see an upward trend in other creations to keep our creatures on our planet. Check out this video to see RAPID in action! Elli Sloan, Intern