Smart Park Akagera, Rwanda
This page provides details about our Smart Parks solution deployment in Akagera National Park, Rwanda.
The Shadow View Foundation has started a partnership with The Internet of Life and African Parks to provide Akagera National Park with an advanced sensor solution. This project is based on our proof of concept for installing a new communication and observation system in Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania to improve the security and park operations.
In addition to tracking wildlife for traditional research and conservation purposes, the remote monitoring of wildlife is important to ensure the security of different animal species.
It is our goal to help large African game parks to mitigate the risk of poaching of large groups of endangered mammals such as elephants and rhinoceros. The increasing number of poached animals demonstrates the scale and severity of this problem. In 2007, there were 13 recorded poaching incidents in South African game parks. In 2014, this number reached a staggering 1215! If the poaching continues at this rate, wild rhinos will become extinct within the next decade. Furthermore, poachers have found ways to intercept the signal of traditional tracking devices currently in place, which adds an additional risk to the protection of endangered animals.
Park Management is not only responsible for the direct protection of wildlife, but also for operations and the maintenance of the park’s infrastructure. Roads, gates, cars, water, fuel tanks, buildings need to be kept good condition at all times. In large and remote areas like the Akagera National Park, managing these assets is challenging. Having access to more real-time information about the position and condition of these assets will improve operational planning, capacity management of staff resources and the safety of Park visitors.
We use the LoRa® network technology as a foundation to build a private network infrastructure that enables Park Management to monitor all activities within Akagera National Park. A LoRa Network is a telecommunication network designed to allow long range communications. Its signal is almost impossible to be detected by poachers and runs on solar energy.
Existing solutions to track wildlife are based on satellite technology. This type of technology has high usage costs and needs expensive, heavy tracking devices.
LoRa® technology allows us to set-up of a complete private network infrastructure that ensures high efficiency against low costs. By using LoRa® technology to cover the entire 1200 km2 Akagera National Park area, we can track tens of thousands of animals, vehicles and other assets, at the cost of a few satellite trackers.
By May 2017 we achieved full coverage of Akagera National Park. This includes the placement of 80 GPS trackers, generating over 140,000 location updates per day. We are devoted to further development of the Smart Park by adding more sensors and improving current technology. We are confident that this solution provides an extra layer of security to keep wildlife, visitors and park management safe.