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Connected Conservation

Middle East & Africa | South Africa | Digital infrastructure

Connected Conservation solution protects rhino for future generations

Dimension Data and Cisco harness non-invasive and easily deployable technology to protect the lives of our endangered animals.

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Real-time Analytics


With poaching decimating rhino populations, a private game reserve decided to harness technology to deter poachers and protect its rhinos.

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Tranforming IT


Our Connected Conservation solution protects the rhino by tracking people and providing real-time information to enable preventative action.

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Cloud Contact Centre


By using technology to monitor the reserve’s boundary and improve communications between security personnel, incursions into the reserve have reduced by 68%.

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Why Connected Conservation makes sense

A game reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park wanted more effective means to prevent rhino poaching and, thereby, conserve the rhino for future generations. We harnessed the power of technology to protect the rhino by tracking the movement of people.

South Africa is home to 70% of the remaining rhinos in the world. With populations being decimated by poaching to the extent that rhinos could be extinct by 2025, a private game reserve took the lead in finding a technology-based way to deter poachers.

Every day, hundreds of staff, suppliers, contractors, security personnel, and tourists enter and exit the reserve. Their activity wasn’t monitored because, as is usual, the reserve is in a remote location with basic IT infrastructure and access control, manual security processes, and very limited communication.

Partnering with Cisco, Dimension Data deployed a solution that connects multiple types of technology in order to track the movement of people so as to identify those with harmful intent. This pre-empts harm to the animals.

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How focusing on people protects wildlife

Conventional reactive conservation approaches, such as dehorning, pose a risk for rhino. Our Connected Conservation solution minimises the risk by providing the real-time intelligence needed to enable preventative action against poachers. Poaching in the reserve has dropped by 96%.

The purpose of using an end-to-end solution is to proactively stop people entering the reserve illegally. If an incursion takes place, the solution triggers an alarm in the control centre. An alert with exact co-ordinates for the incursion is sent to armed rangers’ mobile devices. The rangers are then mobilised both on the ground and in a helicopter.

‘The solution is capable of protecting any endangered species, including elephants, lions, and pangolins in Africa, tigers in India and Asia, and even rays, sharks and whales in the ocean,’ says Bruce Watson, Dimension Data’s Group Executive – Cisco Alliance. ‘So we are already in discussions about replicating it in other reserves in South Africa, Africa, and globally.’

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What Connected Conservation technology achieves

Innovative application of IT infrastructure, managed services, data analytics, multiscreen communication, secure network and data flow, a point to point reserve network, CCTV cameras, and biometric scanning has enabled the reduction of incursions into the reserve by 68%.

Preventing incursions is possible only if you are able to observe the boundaries of the reserve comprehensively. We achieved this by using a point-to-point reserve area network (RAN) to create a high-security perimeter ‘net’. CCTV cameras and biometric scanning extended the reserve’s IT infrastructure into remote areas. Wi-Fi and local area networks at each gate allowed communication between security personnel and game rangers both on the ground and in the air. Connectivity to the national database of poaching suspects and backing up of reserve generated data to a secure cloud service-enabled realtime data analysis.

‘Connected Conservation is a prime example of the Internet of Things enabling the saving of human and animal lives,’ Watson says. ‘Without it we couldn’t have deployed a connected system to remote and harsh environments with minimal communication or used world-class compute and storage facilities to store the resulting data in the cloud.’

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