WILD App Training by Wilson Sairowua

WILD (Wildlife Information & Landscape Database) is a mobile application designed to improve the collection, sharing management and analysis of biodiversity data in East Africa. This app developed by The PREPARED Project allows organizations working in conservancies, wildlife management areas, national parks and reserves to collect data in the field and share it with one another.

MEP Rangers using STE App

Myself and another MEP ranger using the WILD app.

Mara Elephant Project has been using the WILD app since its inception in 2016 and for our organization this data collection is what guides us into directing our resources to the areas that need it the most. As the Tracking Manager at MEP, I’m in charge of the integration of the WILD app into all of our ranger patrols as well as the collection and reporting of data. I was originally trained to use this app by our partners, Strathmore University’s iLab Africa.

During a weekend in late July, the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) conducted a training for 80 rangers selected from each conservancy in the Mara that myself and representatives from Strathmore University’s iLab Africa taught. Expanding the use of the WILD app in the Mara is extremely important in ensuring a protected future for the greater Mara ecosystem. The more biodiversity data we are all able to collect and share the more elephant lives we can save.

Here I am teaching the WILD app at the training. 

My relationship with these organizations stems from my time spent with USAID, PREPARED and MMWCA who have all recently visited MEP HQ to learn more about the WILD app and its pros and cons.

When they visited, I took them through the app and discussed some of the challenges like occasionally getting the wrong GPS position. We also discussed important features that need to be modified and improved like location accuracy. One of the suggestions I made to USAID was that from our experience the Samsung phones worked best on correctly selecting the GPS location compared to Tecno, which is currently used by PREPARED. MEP ranger Gideon Nkoitoi was able to demonstrate using the Tecno phone while I was able to demonstrate using Samsung.

In the coming weeks, MMWCA will be checking in to conduct regular reviews in every conservancy across the Mara and ensure that all rangers and organizations like MEP are correctly using the WILD app in their patrols.

The MMWCA training. 

The PREPARED Project’s WILD app will strengthen the conservancies to adequately collect, record and present data in a way that will inform strategic decisions for the future. It’s essential that MEP and its partners are using this tool correctly.