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Technology

How IoT is Helping to Protect Wildlife

Protect Wildlife

With wildlife in danger around the globe, many conservationists are using IoT devices to help protect and monitor wildlife in the area. From the plains of Africa protecting the Big Five to the Scottish forests protecting the red squirrel, technology is having a revolutionary affect. 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to physical objects that are linked to the internet. They can connect and communicate to other internet-enabled devices. Households have been using IoT devices for a number of years, with the average UK household now having around 10.3 internet-enabled devices, but the myriad benefits of IoT are really being felt in the protection and conservation of wildlife. 

Tracking collars

We know that the removal of specific populations in areas can have disastrous consequences for the surrounding flora and fauna of a biodiversity, and GPS-enabled tracking collars are being fitted to larger animals in particular – like lions and cheetahs in Africa. These collars allow researchers to monitor animal population and understand migration patterns, without human interference, as well as track animal numbers. 

Danger alert

IoT devices are being used to alert conservationists to potential threats to herd animals. The monitors act like watchdogs and the IoT platforms can be programmed for a number of different variables. 

The alerts work by monitoring the animal’s behaviour and detecting the difference when they come into contact with natural predators, tourists, or potential poachers. 

Activity monitors

Thanks to programmes like Countryfile encouraging ordinary people to become wildlife watchers and conservationists, anyone can build activity monitors. With kits like the Arduino available, anyone with a bit of basic coding knowledge – or desire to learn, can create their very own activity monitor. 

These activity monitors are activated by wildlife movement and can then capture video or photos of wildlife in action. It’s this technology that’s helping to capture animals in their natural habitat without disturbing them. In Scotland, they’re being used in ancient woodland to monitor the red squirrel population. 

Signal boost 

Much of the conservation is caried out in remote areas where a reliable internet connection isn’t always possible, which is where the use of signal boosters comes in. To help boost sensor connectivity, signal boosters are being placed around reserves. 

Providing long range, spread-spectrum wireless technology, they are optimised for low-power devices, allowing them to operate off batteries for years and communicate at ranges of up to 15km. These devices are proving essential in the protection of wildlife. 

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