Discover how technology such as thermal imaging is being used to help catch nighttime poachers in Africa...

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has harnessed the sophisticated technology of thermal imaging and human detection software to catch night time poachers in Eastern Africa, with more than two dozen poachers being arrested in Kenya’s Maasai Mara in the nine months since deployment of the technology.

The WWF, working alongside the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Mara Conservancy, installed technology from thermal imaging specialist FLIR Systems on a mobile wildlife ranger unit which allowed rangers to search for poachers 24hours a day, in pitch darkness, and up to a mile away.

In press release for Fox News the CEO and Director of the Mara Conservancy, Brian Heath said: “This technology is invaluable in our night surveillance work. The ability of our rangers to distinguish potential poachers from a large distance is nothing short of remarkable. The last three people our team arrested were flabbergasted as to how they were detected.”

WWF and FLIR Systems are now looking to broaden the use of thermal imaging to catch poachers and are looking into installing the technology on drones.

(The Wildlife Crime Technology Project is supported by a $5million grant from Google).