Blog / How Satellite IoT Technology is Helping Safeguard Endangered Species

How Satellite IoT Technology is Helping Safeguard Endangered Species

Leading-edge satellite-enabled tracking devices incorporating Globalstar’s small and lightweight ST100 chipset are being used to monitor rhinoceros, part of a widespread concerted effort to protect these nearly-extinct wild animals from illegal poachers.
This is the most recent project carried out by Globalstar Value Added Reseller, Johannesburg-based Wintec Solutions, a specialist technology and solutions provider with extensive experience in animal tracking for wildlife conservation.
Rhinoceros are the subject of widespread illegal killing by poachers across Africa. Wintec Solutions deployed GSatSolar™, the latest addition to Globalstar’s IoT satellite tracking solutions portfolio. GSatSolar is an innovative Sun-powered tracking device built around Globalstar’s economical ST100 satellite IoT transmitter. Low-cost and simple to integrate, GsatSolar is a small and rugged satellite IoT tracker ideal for livestock tracking and management. Rhinos are fitted with the monitoring device via ear tagging or collar. Other novel ways of deploying the tracking devices are also being explored.
Nature reserves in Africa are expansive, spanning as many as 20,000 hectares in remote bush regions. Their perimeter fencing is often breached by criminals and poachers attempting to gain access to, and kill, the animals within. Such reserves, which are home to as many as 200 free-ranging rhinos, typically are established in locations where GSM mobile signal does not exist. Only satellite communications can provide the always-on connectivity to enable uninterrupted monitoring of the animals.
Significant advantages of GsatSolar are its small size and light weight, so as not to irritate the animal, as well as its robust structure. Furthermore, its low cost makes the solution easily scalable for tracking large herds of wildlife and farm stock.
Globalstar-enabled solutions are at the forefront of today’s conservation activities in Africa;
Wintec Solutions is additionally playing a role in the preservation of other African species. Researchers at Giraffe Conservation Foundation are using the system to monitor giraffe migration, and for keeping safeguarding tabs on animals which have been reintroduced into the wild.
Wintec Solutions is also deploying satellite technology and Globalstar-enabled animal tags in collaboration with veterinary authorities and research students for wild buffalo protection activities in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Buffalo migration is being monitored so conservationists and government authorities can understand and mitigate the potential spread of Bovine Tuberculosis. In another project, the application of Globalstar-enabled trackers is being tested on pangolins, yet another severely endangered species.
The tracking platform UI developed Wintec Solutions includes an informative mapping portal that tracks the animals’ individual and group movements. Monitoring the rhino, or other wildlife, also informs as to grazing habits, locations of the best nutrition, seasonal breeding habits, as well as the animals’ general health and well-being.