New technology employed in the fight to save the Amur tiger
Technology is developing fast and so are new methods to tackle poaching. Thanks to support from DSWF and TigerTime, the Phoenix Fund in the Russian Far East has managed to suppress poaching and illegal woodcutting in key Amur tiger habitat for over twenty years.
TigerTime support has helped keep the anti-poaching teams supplied with all the essentials – including fuel, spare and repair parts, equipment and field expenditures – everything needed to continue patrolling the hunting grounds and protected areas. In 2011, TigerTime also helped fund the introduction of a user-friendly spatial Management Information System (MIST) that has proved to be an invaluable tool in monitoring law enforcement activities.
To further strengthen protection the team has invested in the latest technology. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) also known as drones, are being used to detect poaching activities and locate wild fires – two of the main threats to the survival of Amur leopards and tigers.
The remote-controlled mini-helicopters with mounted GoPro cameras are cost-effective compared to traditional manned flights, for example by paraglider , and also reduce the risk to humans. With experience gained in using this latest technology Phoenix staff have also hosted a number of presentations for representatives of other nature protection agencies in the Russian Far East.
“We believe that these advanced technologies will bring many benefits to managers and law enforcement staff in the protected areas as well as scientists and aerial forest protection services,” says Phoenix Fund Director, Sergei Bereznuk . “To date, directors of four protected areas have all expressed great interest and would like to introduce UAVs in their territories in order to monitor anti-poaching activities, wildlife and forest fires.”
“In the fight against wildlife crime we have to enlist help of every kind and TigerTime is proud to be able to fund these new technologies to help protect precious populations of Amur tiger,” says DSWF and TigerTime CEO, Sally Case. “None of this would be possible without the help of our supporters so thank you for helping to protect the Amur tiger.”