What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
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Can Unmanned Aircraft Stop Poachers in Their Tracks? - Avionics Intelligence

TODAY from 3-4pm EDT

Contact: Heather Dewar, 301/405-9267

 

At the University of Maryland...

A daring experiment to use drone aircraft and intelligence tools against rhinoceros poachers in South Africa will be previewed in a free public talk April 11 at the University of Maryland. This wildlife conservation experiment is one of many peaceful uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being explored by governments, universities and the commercial sector. And it occurs as the FAA is beginning development of a comprehensive plan for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace.

 

Tom Snitch, Ph.D., an intelligence consultant and remote sensing expert based in Bethesda, Md., is executive officer of the United Nations' Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring Systems, a visiting professor at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and chairman of the Board of Visitors of UMD's College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS). Snitch has organized a May 25 field test of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, for anti-poaching surveillance on a game reserve near South Africa's Kruger National Park, the center of a deadly epidemic of rhino killings.

 

It will be the first time unmanned aircraft are combined with satellite imagery and sophisticated mathematical modeling to catch rhino poachers in the act. The goal is to quickly mobilize game wardens to stop the poachers, who are illegally killing one black rhino every 11 hours for their horns, prized in traditional Asian medicine. Poachers have fought a series of bloody battles with government troops and private game wardens.

 

UMD Mathematicians, physicists, and artificial intelligence experts are sharing ideas with the anti-poaching team. Some of the techniques to be tested were developed by UMD. Computer Science Professor V.S. Subrahmanian used a similar algorithm to find Iraqi insurgents' caches of bomb-making materials.

 

UMD faculty members are working on a range of other peacetime uses for unmanned aircraft, from rescuing lost hikers to controlling the spread of crop diseases. UMD aerospace engineers also are developing new types of UAVs; and the university is leading a state of Maryland effort to win a test site designation from the FAA for the integration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace.

 

"Entrepreneurial Approaches to Protecting Highly Endangered Wildlife: Saving Rhinos with Math, Drones and Satellites," is free and open to the public, April 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. at 1410 Physics Lecture Hall on the College Park Campus. Snitch's talk is part of a "30 Days of EnTERPreneurship," a month-long series of campus events highlighting entrepreneurship.

 

 

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Live near the University of Maryland?

Consider attending this discussion.

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Wildlife Margrit's curator insight, April 11, 2013 2:19 PM

Live near the University of Maryland?

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What's Happening to Africa's Rhino?
So many stories! Here's a quick look at the good, bad, ugly and encouraging RHINO NEWS
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In Search of Rhino: Africa's Disappearing Icon - YouTube

The White Rhino likes to hang out, has interesting friends, has to 'go', likes to act tough and is at risk of going extinct because it get's poached for its horn.

#rhino #LuvWildlfie

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Nice Shot! The World's Largest Rhino Farm

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Zimbabwe Plans to Dehorn Its 800 Rhinos to Thwart Poachers

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Zimbabwe plans to dehorn its 800 rhinos to thwart poachers who illegally killed more than 5 percent of the population of the animals in neighboring South Africa last year.


South Africa has the world’s biggest rhino population with about 20,000 of the endangered animals and most of those are of the white variety. Zimbabwe predominantly has black rhinos, which are smaller and rarer as the World Wildlife Population estimates their global number in the wild at about 4,800. Both varieties are targeted for their horns, which some people in East Asia believe cure cancer and boost virility.

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“The time has come for everyone to stand up and fight against poaching in order to help ensure these precious heritages for our children’s children survive forever."
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More than six thousand rhinos have fallen to poachers’ bullets in Africa over the past decade. Driven by insatiable demand in Southeast Asia and China
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Ranger fatally shot by poachers

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 Rhino poachers ambushed three rangers patrolling the Forever Resort in Bela Bela, Limpopo, killing one of them and a rhino.

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Mpumalanga traffic officer arrested for rhino poaching

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An Mpumalanga traffic officer arrested for rhino poaching is expected to appear in the Skukuza Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old traffic officer was out on bail for a separate case of rhino poaching, when he was re-arrested, the Hawks confirm.
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At the secret training camp called Battle Creek in the African bush - two hours from Johannesburg - men are training animals to hunt other men who kill animals.

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South Africa rhino named Hope gets facial reconstruction after horrific poacher attack

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Poachers hacked off South African rhino's horns, part of her face a year ago
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Hope the rhino gets pioneering surgery 

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Shoelaces on steroids: that's the groundbreaking procedure used on the world's most famous rhino, Hope.
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Poacher’s paradise: The terrifying underworld behind rhino horn trade 

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South Africa, home to almost 80% of the rhino population on the African continent, is at the centre of the struggle against poaching. Over the past decade, over 6,000 rhino have fallen victim to poachers; about three a day. About 370 were poached in the first quarter of 2016 alone.
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Hope is gone: brave super-rhino dies - Africa Geographic

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Goats go wherever goats want to go... even onto the backs of rhinos VIDEO

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Mountains? Goats go there. Troll bridges? Goats go there. Rhinos? You're damn right goats go there.


This adorable footage was captured by staff at the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in South Africa, which rears little rhinos orphaned by poachers. 


On YouTube, the sanctuary noted that "rhinos and goats have a unique friendship" — and it's true there is something exceptional about rhinoceroses acting as step-ups allowing goats to nom on low-hanging leaves.


The sanctuary takes volunteers (and donations), meaning you too could someday have the opportunity to either clamber over rhinos or have goats clamber over you.

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Iconic Rietvlei rhino dies

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She died of natural causes. Many visitors and photographers visited the reserve just to see her. 

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Can drones help save the rhino? – video

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September and South Africa’s hosting of the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is fast approaching with warnings coming..
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African philanthropists pledge to relocate 100 rhinos to Botswana

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This weekend during a Botswana air navigation event, Race For Rhinos, a pledge was made to relocate 100 black and white rhino from South Africa to safe havens in Botswana.
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Visit to Rietvlei Nature Reserve Before the Rhino Poaching

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GoPro films behind the scenes of a black rhino

(KUTV) Many people wish for an up close look at animals' lives but with this you can see the world from the rhino's point of view.Care for Wild Africa is an organization that houses the largest rhino sanctuary and provides rhinos like young Thor a home.T
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African rhino rescue drive: The great mission to move rhinos – a project of hope

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GoPro teamed up with the project and this has brought the supporters and donors closer to this rhino rescue operation. So often, caring donors cannot actively interact with the projects they support.
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Swaziland accuses SA of backtracking on rhino horn trade

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