Satellite Anti-Poaching System Tested in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion, Russia

UNDP press release the satellite anti-poaching system, from the Altai NGO list serve on Tue Dec 16, 2008

16.12.2008 Satellite Anti-Poaching System Tested in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion

UNDP/GEF Project “Biodiversity Conservation in the Russian Portion of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion” has successfully tested a unique satellite anti-poaching system in Altaiskiy nature reserve. It has never been applied in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion before. The system was developed by Wild Land Security NGO, USA. It is intended for poacher detection in protected areas (PAs). Mr. Stephen Gulick, an electronic engineer and designer of the system, has tested it for the first time in national parks of Africa to protect endangered species. It consists of various detectors (a geophone, a metal detector, a PIR (passive infrared) detector, a photo-detector, etc.), a portable transmitter, and a satellite modem to transmit an alarm to a phone or an e-mail account of a PA ranger station. The satellite anti-poaching system enables rangers to quickly spot and intercept poachers coming to a protected area by providing real-time information about their location.

Altaiskiy nature reserve received 4 sets of “TrailGuard” satellite anti-poaching system, which were installed in areas known for frequent musk-deer poaching. Ultra-compact anti-poaching detectors were hidden along trails, in log cabins, and in other locations visited by poachers to transmit an alarm on an unauthorized entry. Reserve’s ranger station has a “Thuraya” satellite phone now to receive an alarm from the anti-poaching detectors. While in the mountains, ranger patrol groups would also use “Thuraya” satellite phones to keep in constant touch with the reserve’s duty station, police, and emergency service.

Satellite high-tech would allow Altaiskiy nature reserve to protect the area much more efficiently by early poacher spotting and safer patrol group operation. Moreover, this technology could save considerable part of the reserve’s budget due to effective raids to specified locations. If the satellite anti-poaching system proves successful, Altaiskiy nature reserve will locate anti-poaching detectors in all the sites infamous for poaching.

Jennifer Castner