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Semtech Uses LoRa to Track Endangered Black Rhinos in Africa

By Ken Briodagh January 17, 2017

Semtech Corporation, a supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, has announced that its LoRa devices and Wireless RF Technology have been deployed by the Internet of Life and the ShadowView Foundation. These organizations, founded for the purpose of using innovative technology to protect the environment and endangered species, want to protect endangered black rhinoceroses at the Mkomazi National Park, one of the 14 official National Parks in Tanzania, Africa.

The two conservation organizations developed a LoRa-equipped sensor that is implanted directly into a rhino’s horn. The sensor gives rangers the ability to accurately monitor the whereabouts and activities of the endangered black rhinos and keep them safe from poachers. The LoRa-equipped tracking sensor is part of a comprehensive LoRaWAN-based IoT security solution deployed throughout Mkomazi National Park.

“Protecting the lives of endangered black rhinos and other animal species is a mission that is very important to us,” said Tim van Dam, spokesperson, Internet of Life. “From a technology standpoint, our IoT sensor network gives us everything we need to be successful, providing long-range coverage, a wireless signal that is difficult for poachers to detect, and low-power operation to ensure the batteries in our sensors can last for at least a decade. It is our hope that by implementing this type of network in other wildlife sanctuaries, we will be able to work with local groups to keep endangered animals safe and help preserve some of the most wonderful natural ecosystems in the world.” 

The rhino-tracker sensor shows the location of the animals within the sanctuary, allowing the park’s security personnel to strategically position themselves to watch over the rhinos. Another smart application used by the park is the monitoring of gate open/closures through solar-powered LoRa-based sensors installed on worker vehicles. The same devices are also used to track the welfare of personnel. All the data is transmitted from the various sensors within the network to an observation room where the tracked items appear on a digital map.

“People around the world continue to find novel and important uses for LoRa Technology,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of Wireless Products, Wireless and Sensing Products Group, Semtech. “ShadowView was able to leverage LoRa and IoT technology to create a cost-effective, workable solution for Mkomazi park rangers to protect the park’s endangered inhabitants. This use case depicts the value of IoT beyond streamlining manual processes in businesses, homes and municipalities, and shows it can support nonprofit, environmental, health, and life-preserving initiatives.”




Edited by Alicia Young

Editorial Director

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