The WILD App: Helping Conserve our Wild Animals

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On Friday, 23rd September 2016, in partnership with USAID, @iLabAfica, Strathmore University launched the Wildlife Information and Landscape Database (WILD) App that will strengthen existing wildlife anti-poaching and human wildlife conflict (HWC) deterrent efforts. the U.S. The mobile phone data collection application and cloud-based database is designed to improve collection, sharing, management and analysis of biodiversity information and data of endangered wildlife i.e Elephants and Rhinos in East Africa which are facing extinction due to the increased poaching activities.

In January 2014, in response to President Obama’s Executive Order onCombating Wildlife Trafficking, USAID’s Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development (PREPARED) Project established a partnership with key governmental, non-governmental conservation organization and private sector stakeholders in Kenya and Tanzania to discuss how Information and Communications Technology could be used to improve the fight against poaching in East Africa. The goal was to develop innovative tools that help prevent poaching and HWC, and improve monitoring, coordination, and analysis of anti-poaching and HWC deterrent efforts.

Brad Arsenault, Deputy Office Chief for Environment at USAID’s Kenya and East Africa Mission, explained that “Protecting wildlife from poaching and illegal trafficking helps to secure our global heritage and fight against sophisticated criminal networks that lead to insecurity.”

The WILD application tracks a patrol unit’s movement using global-positioning software (GPS) using the smart-phone. While on patrol, game scouts can record information on incidences that occur, such as poaching, animal mortality, human wildlife conflict, illegal human activity, community service, wildlife sightings, climate data and others.

The information captured in WILD is stored in a secure online database that allows administrators to access and analyze information collected by their scouts, and use this information to support evidence-based management decisions, such as re-organizing patrol routes to cover areas with higher incidents of poaching or HWC. WILD can also be used to track the progress and outcomes of counter wildlife trafficking legal cases that the organization is supporting.

Administrators can view reported incidences geo-spatially by patrol unit, time period or incident type. Administers can link related incidences that occur over a longer time period; for example, linking a crop-raiding incident with a retaliatory killing that may have happened several days later.

WILD can be downloaded on Android-based smart phones via the Google Play Store and has offline capacity to ensure functionality when there is no or limited network access.  Watch how the app works.

Story was first published on PREPARED Facebook Page

 

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