Mara Elephant Project faces many challenges, one of which is relying on data from multiple sources to identify potential poaching threats that can be incomplete. This data is used to inform our rangers of poaching activity in protected areas so having accurate data is crucial to our success. The Domain Awareness System (DAS) created by Vulcan Technology integrates data from all technology used in a protected area, providing a single operational picture and alerting managers when critical threats are identified.
Vulcan Technologies, founded by Microsoft Founder Paul Allen, is solving these challenges for organizations like MEP with cutting edge technology that will create a single operational picture for a protected area with an integrated data platform that provides real-time tactical decision-making. They are using algorithmic analysis of data, which will help MEP conduct more effective field operations by providing targeted information to rangers and data for use in strategic intelligence and trafficking analysis by building a scalable and extensible system deployable at protected areas across Africa.
Picture courtesy of Vulcan Technologies demonstrating what a DAS map looks like.
The system has been installed at six protected wildlife conservation sites since November 2016 including MEP partners Save the Elephants (STE), LEWA Conservancy and Northern Rangelands Trust. Additionally, a total of 15 locations are expected to adopt the system this year.
DAS is powering the STE Tracking app that MEP began using several years ago and now all managers and officers have been equipped with iPhones and the app for real time elephant movement. The app is an amazing tool for visualizing the movement data of MEP’s collared elephants. The app also illustrates streaks, day and night movements and gives us a comprehensive base map, which allows managers to constantly and easily relay coordinates to field teams and track the elephants on the ground and by air with our Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter.
MEP rangers using the STE Tracking app.
Additionally, the helicopter has been added to the elephant tracking system on the DAS; however, the vehicles and ranger movements have not been added to date. MEP’s goal for 2017 is to investigate the best way to track and measure our ground effort in a way that is compatible with DAS. Help us make this a reality in 2017 and DONATE.
A MEP ranger tracking MEP’s collared elephants in near real time.