Nature

EnChoice Provides Digital Support to the Rhino Protection Program

Arizona based enChoice, an Enterprise Content Management solutions company, has reached an agreement with South Africa based Welgevonden Game Reserve, to Provide digital transformation software and support to the Rhino protection program.

According to statistics released earlier this year by the South African government, rhinoceros poaching remains at crisis levels, with around 1,028 rhinos having been illegally killed in 2017. Although there is much focus on rhino poaching, other animals are also poached for their body parts which, like the rhino horn, are used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia. Since poachers are usually heavily armed, response to poaching until now has been mainly reactive and primarily para-military.

WGR's Wildlife Protection Program is a pro-active system which utilizes a breakthrough technology to alert reserve security operations well before any at-risk animals are in danger. The system uses sentinel animals, who themselves are not poaching targets, fitted with sensors. The animals' movement patterns and other data are recorded and transmitted to a cognitive computing platform via a secure network. Predictive algorithms, developed by Wageningen University, analyze the sentinel-animal data and alert security operations of poacher threats. This system was developed in partnership between WGR, the MTN Group (a multinational telecommunications group operating in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East), IBM and Wageningen University in the Netherlands; it is based on IBM's Internet of Thing (IoT) architecture.

François Spruyt, chairman of South Africa's Welgevonden Game Reserve, said, "We are delighted to welcome enChoice as a participant in our Wildlife Protection Program. Their IT capabilities will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the program, particularly in the planning of the next phase."

Tony White, CEO of enChoice, added, "We are honored to have been given the opportunity to participate in this meaningful project. We are looking forward to being able to channel our skills and solutions to benefit endangered species and a cause that is truly critical for the future of our planet."

enChoice's initial participation will include sending a senior IT professional, Jarrod Nash, to work on-site as project manager and take responsibility for planning and scoping the production rollout of the system with WGR, MTN, IBM and Wageningen University. Subsequent support from enChoice will consist of additional staffing, software and technology assistance.