Security has long been a major concern at wildlife reserves in Africa, where rhino and elephant populations have been decimated by poachers in recent years. But a park in Rwanda is betting on a new networking technology to change that.
This week, Rwanda’s Akagera National Park launched a new system that allows park rangers to monitor animals, visitors, and equipment in real-time. Developed by the Dutch conservation organizations ShadowView and Internet of Life, the so-called “smart park” system is based on a Long Range Wide-Area Network (LoRaWAN) — a low-bandwidth, low-power networking technology that can blanket large areas at relatively low costs.
LoRaWAN technology has already been used to develop internet of things (IoT) networks in Amsterdam and other “smart cities;” the groups behind the smart park think it could help keep poachers off protected lands, as well. Unlike easily interceptable radio frequencies, commonly used to track animals in other …