Cambium wireless equipment helps in the fight against rhino poaching

Wireless network in South Africa backhauls visible light and infrared surveillance feeds that warn of intruders entering the Limpopo Rhino Security Group area

Cambium wireless equipment helps in the fight against rhino poaching

Cambium Networks has donated equipment and services to the Limpopo Rhino Security Group (LRSG) in South Africa to aid the fight against poaching. The LRSG has established a 250,000-acre conservation area protecting a significant number of rhinos.

However, the government does not give any assistance to private rhino owners, so with the help of partners in the private sector, Cambium has set up an early warning system that helps LRSG stop poachers in their tracks, Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO, Cambium Networks, explained in a blog on the company’s website.

Rhino’s are prized by trophy hunters and black market salesmen, as the horn of an adult rhino can sell for up to $100,000 per kilogram in certain regions of Asia. Driven by financial gain, the poachers see no reason to stop until there aren’t any rhinos left.

As a result poaching has escalated to unprecedented levels in recent years, threatening an already endangered species. The Limpopo Province saw over 200 rhino perish to poachers on an annual basis.

Using Cambium’s ePMP 1000 outdoor broadband platform and several PTP 650 wireless backhaul links, the company is deploying a low power-consumption, high-capacity network spanning the vast area.

Organisations from around the world donated video surveillance equipment – including visible light and infrared cameras – and the Cambium network carries all of this video footage back to a single central command centre.

From these surveillance feeds, LRSG can see across the savannah and send out rapid response units as soon as they detect any suspicious activity near the protected area’s boundaries. When combined with a wireless network powerful enough to synthesize visible light and heat-based surveillance feeds on one platform, LRSG now has the tools it needs to be proactive in the fight against poaching.

This technology will help create a safe and prosperous environment for rhinos like Hypure (pictured above), a baby rhino born just last week in South Africa and other animals that live in the region. Since the campaign launched in 2014, the poaching rate dropped by more than 30% in the first year. And the numbers for 2016 stand at 13 rhinos poached thus far.

Bhatnagar said that bringing wireless connectivity to rugged regions like this one is a core mission of Cambium Networks. He added: ‘But we don’t connect the unconnected just for the sake of it. Strong networks can be a force for good in the world, and animal conservation is one area where we can make a real impact.’

Cambium points out that the LRSG is always looking for donations of the following materials:
• Specialized security equipment
• Thermal imaging equipment
• Night vision equipment
• Bullet proof vests for anti-poaching units
• Aerial patrols – fuel
• Two-way radios
• Ground-to-air radios.

Click here for the Cambium website and a link to LRSG

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