On the heels of Kenya’s worst case of ivory poaching in years, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has announced plans to utilize a new technological weapon in the struggle to protect its wildlife from poachers. According to an article in The Guardian, an alarm system will be installed along fences that will emit a loud noise if a fence is interfered with by animals or by would-be human intruders attempting to tear it down. An SMS message is also sent to security officials, giving the location of the breach and allowing for a quick response. Officials from KWS hope that the system will help reduce poaching by up to 90%. Not all Kenyan parks are good candidates for the new system, however, as some are too large to allow for cost-effective installation, and some are not completely fenced in.
Over 1,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinos were lost to poachers in Africa last year alone, and the KWS notes that technology will play a crucial role in turning the tide on this conservation crisis in coming years. The most recent tragedy in Kenya occurred last week, with the discovery of a family of eleven elephants who had been killed in Tsavo National Park for their tusks.