S.Africa using GPS microchips to stop rhino poaching

Oct 21, 2010
South African rangers announced a plan to implant GPS devices in the horns of rhinos in a new effort to combat rampant poaching.

South African rangers on Thursday announced a plan to implant GPS devices in the horns of rhinos in a new effort to combat rampant poaching.

The GPS chips link up to a computer monitoring station where park rangers track the rhinos.

"The animal's movements are then tracked 24/7 and if they are attacked, game rangers will be alerted via the alarms," park enforcement officer Rusty Hustler told the Sapa news agency.

The alarm signal activates if the rhino lies inert for longer than is deemed normal, or becomes unusually active.

Five rhinos in North West province have already been fitted with the device, but more will follow if the programme succeeds.

"If we prove it completely then my consideration will be that all the North West parks that have rhino should have the ," he said.

stalk by helicopter and tranquilise them with darts from hunting rifles. The are removed while the giant animals lay unconscious.

Rhino poaching has spiked dramatically since 2008 with 227 slaughtered so far this year, almost double the number slain in 2009.

Black-market demand for rhino horn is particularly high in China and Vietnam, where poachers sell the horns for medicinal and ornamental purposes for up to 20,000 dollars per kilo.

Explore further: Little blue penguin back at sea after hospital stint

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rhino poaching surges in Asia, Africa

Dec 01, 2009

Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Sumatran Rhino Seen in Borneo Jungles

Sep 09, 2006

(AP) -- Wildlife rangers have made the first-ever sighting of a Sumatran rhino deep in the jungles of Borneo, taking video and photos of a single male after a decade-long search, conservationists said Friday.

Endangered rhinos return to wild

Dec 11, 2009

A Czech zoo is to transfer four endangered Northern White rhinos to a Kenyan reserve in a last-ditch attempt to ensure the survival of the species.

Recommended for you

World's first microbe 'zoo' opens in Amsterdam

2 hours ago

The world's first "interactive microbe zoo" opened in Amsterdam on Tuesday, shining new light on the tiny creatures that make up two-thirds of all living matter and are vital for our planet's future.

Study shows how chimpanzees share skills

3 hours ago

Evidence of new behaviour being adopted and transmitted socially from one individual to another within a wild chimpanzee community is publishing on September 30 in the open access journal PLOS Biology. This i ...

Little blue penguin back at sea after hospital stint

8 hours ago

Wildbase Recovery Community Trust ambassador and Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie joined Massey University veterinary staff to release a little blue penguin back into the sea at Himatangi Beach this morning.

User comments : 0