Archives for the category: SMS and Wildlife
January 14, 2013
Security officials at Kenya Wildlife Service hope system will help national parks reduce poaching by up to 90%, reports The Guardian.
Kenya's wildlife agency is installing an alarm system that alerts rangers to possible poachings by text message, following the shooting of an entire family of 11 elephants last week.
Read full article.
December 12, 2012
The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says the law has been around in various forms for years.
October 23, 2012
Every day, around 3 pm, Ganesh Raghunathan sends out at least 800 SMS alerts to people living close to the elephant corridors in Valparai in Coimbatore district about the movements of the pachyderms. Times of India reports.
The text messages in English and Tamil have the mobile numbers of people to contact in an emergency. The Red Light Flashing System installed in 24 areas in the Valparai region is also alerting people.
October 2, 2012
Sensors implanted in cows let Swiss farmers know when they are in heat. When that is the case, the device sends an SMS to the farmer’s phone — in any one of Switzerland’s three main languages; German, French and Italian, plus English or Spanish. The device is to marketed early next year. [via The New York Times]
The electronic heat detector is the brainchild of several professors at a technical college in the nearby Swiss capital of Bern. It fills a market gap, they say, because dairy cows, under growing stress to produce larger quantities of milk, are showing fewer and fewer signs of heat. That makes it harder for Swiss farmers to use traditional visual inspections to know when to bring on the bull or, in about 80 percent of the cases these days, the artificial inseminator.
Read full article.
August 3, 2012
Using sheep to alert shepherds of an imminent wolf attack by text message is being tested in Switzerland where the predator appears to be back. The AFP reports.
In the trial, reported by the country's news agency ATS, around 10 sheep were each equipped with a heart monitor before being targeted by a pair of Wolfdogs -- both of which were muzzled.
November 23, 2011
Collars worn by the lions send out messages to a computer system that maps their location. The project is aimed at cutting conflict with local Maasai herders to keep locals, lions, and livestock safe.
Related article on texting wildlife, including moose, geese, baby seals, panthers, elephants, zebras, bears, dolphins, great whites, fish from the East Rive, wild dogs, pigeons and groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.
November 28, 2010
The panthers are sending text messages that scientists hope will teach them more about the endangered species.
Dave Onorato, associate research scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), said two of the texting panthers are males that roam near Bear Island in Big Cypress. Scientists recently put a texting collar on a female that was collared on private land just north of Bear Island.
Read full article.
July 22, 2010
Marine biologists in Australia are following the whereabouts of 75 great white sharks using radio-transmitter tags and a network of 20 satellite-linked buoys. PopSci reports.
This information could help authorities better predict their migration behavior and restrict seasonal shipping routes to protect sharks from boats.
Previously: Great white sharks tracked by SMS
January 13, 2010
News.com reports that this year that groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will be announcing the end of winter - or not - by text message.
Before February 2, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club invites everyone to text "Groundhog" to the SMS short-code 247365. When Phil ventures out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob that morning, text messages will go out broadcasting whether he saw his shadow (six more weeks of winter) or didn't.
December 31, 2009
More than 70 great white sharks have been tagged in Western Australia in a world first trial that will send beach lifesavers a text message when one of the predators swims close to the Perth shoreline. The Telegraph reports.
The text messages will be triggered less than two minutes after a shark swims over any one of 18 acoustic seabed receivers.
September 26, 2009
The Environmental Health Clinic is offering New Yorkers the option to receive text messages to find out what's underwater in the East River at any given moment.
By texting heyherring, riverriver, amphibious architecture, ahoyanchovie, or eastriver to 41411 they will be informed when one of such species swims by a sensor pole.
Motion sensitive poles have been set up underwater in the East River, and every time a fish swims by one of these poles, a text reply is sent out to folks who have sent one of the messages above.
September 21, 2009
Cellphones, iPods, and other small yet powerful mobile computing devices could usher in a new era of environmental monitoring in remote places, helping scientists to study the natural world - and on a budget.
Read full article in The Boston Globe
November 26, 2008
According to the Mail Online, scientists are using mobile phones to eavesdrop on koalas in an attempt to translate what they are saying to each other.
The researchers placed mobiles in the trees of a koala territory to record the marsupials' distinctive bellows.
October 13, 2008
As elephants’ habitat is destroyed, the great beasts frequently leave their protected reserves, barging into villages and eventually are killed by rangers. But in Kenya, there is a better way: text messaging. [via ZDNet]
"A group called Save the Elephants has outfitted a huge bull elephant named Kimani with a text-messaging collar that alerts rangers whenever he crosses the boundary of the Ol Pejeta conservatory.
The project not only saves the elephants, it protects nearby families and villages from economic devastation and loss of life."
Related articles on tracking wildlife with cell phone technology:
-- Texting to save Kenyan elephants - Scientists in Kenya are using text messages to keep tabs on elephants
Cell phone technology helps researches obtain information about animals - Researchers in Kenya and South Africa are using cell phone technology to gather information on elephants, cheetahs, leopards and other animals, reports Pravda.
Cellphone technology to track dolphins and elephants - Reuters reports that South African researchers are planning on tracking dusky dolphins with a new device that uses cell phone sim cards.
-- SMS technology keeps wild wolf on the map - Norwegian researchers have used cellphone text messaging for the first time to track a young wolf that recently crossed the border from neighbouring Sweden.
-- Tracking Moose by SMS - Researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences of Stockholm are tagging several dozen moose with special cell phones to track their eating habits and movements across the country.
-- Tracking Geese on a 3'000 km flight - UK's Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust tagged 20'000 geese and tracked them with satellite technology from the breeding grounds of Canada to Ireland, a 3'000 km flight.
-- Seals sent out SMS - From the Scottish waters, seals sent out SMS to scientists.
July 18, 2008
An unusual experiment is currently being executed in Húsavík in the remote Strandir region in the West Fjords. GPS equipment with a GSM transmitter has been placed in a collar around the neck of 13 ewes, which sends daily SMS messages with their locations. The Iceland Review reports.
"The purpose with the experiment is to investigate the interaction between sheep while grazing in the mountains in summer, mainly to see whether related sheep stick together, Morgunbladid reports.
The 13 ewes belong to three family groups. Each of their collars transmits one SMS message per day with their locations every three hours (eight locations in one message). If the ewe remains motionless for three hours the collar sends a warning signal in case the animal might be ill or dead."
July 14, 2008
Elephants might not be able to make phone calls, but that doesn't stop them carrying mobiles. It doesn't stop crocodiles or seals, either. The BBC reports.
"Today from Kenya to South Africa, from Sweden to Greece, conservationists are using mobile networks to track a range of endangered species using GSM technology.
The advance of mobile technology has touched just about every aspect of the non-profit world, whether the focus is wildlife conservation or human health, and we've only just begun to scratch the surface.
"The potential for mobiles in conservation and development work is huge, and evidence of their use is increasing." Ken Banks - kiwanja.net
May 19, 2008
"Tests on a new GSM technology that seeks to enhance communication between local communities and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are at an advanced stage.
Dubbed ‘Push to Talk on Cellular’ (PoC), the technology has brought together Safaricom Ltd as the lead organization, Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Development Fund, Wireless Zeta Telecomunicaciones (Wireless ZT), Nokia, the Nokia Siemens Networks, and local conservation organizations.
The early warning system combines the functionality of a walkie-talkie with a mobile phone. It enables communication between two individuals, or a group of people, and is particularly useful in connecting a user group.
PoC can also be used alongside voice and data services on a single handset. Users can make standard phone calls and send text messages while accessing two-way communication and group talk."
February 9, 2008
Kasey McMahon, an artist from Your Psycho Girlfriend has created a mammal-machine hybrid; the text-o-possum. The left rear leg of this taxidermied texter hides a bluetooth keyboard projector that shoots ASCII into the ether with red lasers.
A Boing Boing operative tests out the text-o-possum's capabilities for enterprise computing in an urban business environment. Very strange.
Watch on boingboing.tv.
January 24, 2008
Victoria, an orphan baby seal rescued from rough seas near the island of Tinos just hours after she was born, will be returning to the open sea on Saturday, according to News from Greece.
" She won't be shunning civilization entirely, however, since she goes forth equipped with her very own text messaging device.
To keep track of the mammal, however, ociety for the Study and Protection of the Mediterranean Seal (MOm) will attach a transmitter similar to a mobile phone on the small seal that will send the team SMS messages at regular intervals.
Links to articles related to tracking wildlife with cell phones
September 22, 2007
Wireless networks have been used before to track animals, such as elephants, dolphins, koalas, and even pigeons. Now, U.S. researchers are using social networking software to track zebras. Blogs ZDNet reports.
They hope to discover how animals interact — especially when lions are near a herd. They also think their software can help ecologists devise new techniques to protect endangered species." Read more.
August 22, 2007
A professor has taken to ringing owls on his mobile phone. What is most remarkable is that they return his calls in a project that could revolutionise surveys of wild bird populations, reports The Telegraph.
"Researchers at MIT near Boston report today that the phones can help keep more accurate counts of owls.
When Eben Goodale wants to count the birds, he places a call that triggers phones in the forest to play, via speakers, pre-recorded owl calls, such as hoots and whistles.
Territorial owls raise their heads and approach what they think may be an intruder. If they respond with a hoot, the phones transmit the sound back to the "Owl Project" website.
Goodale and Dale Joachim, who describe the research today in the journal Biology Letters, believe that they have shown that mobiles are an effective way to listen in to how birds are doing in the wild, and the diversity of the area. " Read full article.
April 16, 2007
"... Mobile phones are increasingly being viewed as tools for conservation and development.
Ken Banks established kiwanja.net as hub for the latest information on how technology, in particular mobile phones, can be applied to tackle issues of economic empowerment, conservation, education, human rights and poverty.
Banks says that the development of low-cost handsets and the spread of second-hand phones into emerging markets like South Asia and Africa is generating a revolution in how organizations approach conservation projects.
Mobile phones offer these groups new ways to engage stakeholders, while reducing overhead costs and inefficiencies. The technology can even allow them to track animals, protect parks, and conduct surveys in some of the world's most remote forests.
Excerpts of interview related to 3 projects.:
1. One project I was heavily involved in was wildlive!, a service which promoted global conservation by providing news and information on various issues through peoples' handsets. It also had a direct fundraising angle through the sale of conservation-themed wallpapers, ringtones and games. Funds raised went to Fauna & Flora International, a UK-based organization, and directly to the conservation projects being promoted.
2.In Sumatra, tiger researcher Debbie Martyr kept a live field diary that was broadcast via a mobile internet site. Her experiences included live sting operations which used camera-phones to capture poachers and illegal fur traders in action.
3. In the Okapi Wildlife Reserve of the Democratic Republic of Congo, satellite phones enable patrols to text message their GPS location along with a short message from anywhere in the Reserve. The base operator can then call the patrol teams in an emergency, resulting in a much quicker response to threats to the Reserve.
May 9, 2006
Swedish bears in the country wake up after their winter hibernation period and leave their dens reports Cellular News and it's also the time to change the batteries in their "mobile phones".
"In the forests between Orsa and Sveg in the Dalarna region, some 50 bears come out of hibernation wearing a mobile terminal around their necks.
"A number of bears in the Orsa area have been equipped with a mobile terminal over the past two years. These terminals on the bears can automatically send SMS messages to a research station, as well as receive them, after which positioning technology is used to keep track of the bears' movements.
The research is part of a Scandinavian bear project that utilises mobile technology and Telia's GSM network to track and map where the bears wander."
Click here for links to other articles on cell phone technology used to track animal life".
February 2, 2006
A flock of pigeons fitted with mobile phone backpacks is to be used to monitor air pollution, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday via Reuters.
"The 20 pigeons will be released into the skies over San Jose, California, in August. Each bird will carry a GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone.
Text messages on air quality will be beamed back in real time to a special "Pigeon Blog" . Miniature cameras slung around the pigeons' necks will also post aerial pictures.
Other pigeon-taking-picture project - Urban Eyes
October 18, 2005
By attaching miniature cell packs to migrating songbirds, Oregon State University scientists hope to solve the mystery of where birds go and what perils they face when traveling back and forth from warmer and cooler climates each year, reports Corvallis Gazette.
Douglas Robinson contacted OSU’s College of Engineering to design a simplified, 0.07-ounce cell pack that will slip around birds’ legs “like pulling on a pair of underwear,” Robinson explained.
To wear the cell pack, a bird must weigh at least 1.4 ounces. Many thrushes, grosbeaks, sandpipers and ducks are good candidates.
After testing the cell device, researchers will travel to the tropics and attach the packs to hundreds of long-distance migratory songbirds. To conserve batteries, phones will be turned off until a pre-determined date when the birds are expected to be in North America. Then the cell phones will activate and attempt to connect with the nearest cell tower.
The phone will transmit its identification number to the tower. The cellular network will then have a record of the bird’s number, what tower it is near and the date and time of contact. Robinson has a verbal agreement with TMobile for its cooperation, and hopes to secure similar arrangements with other companies.
The researcher believes this technology has valuable medical and military applications. “With cardiac patients, you could monitor heart rhythms, and if a troubling pattern is detected, the cell phone could send a signal alerting the physician directly,” he said.
October 17, 2005
Africa's cellphone explosion changes economics and society. "We are developing unique ways to use the phone, which has not been done anywhere else," says South African Michael Joseph, chief executive officer of Safaricom, one of two service providers in Kenya.
For example, wildlife researchers in Kenya and South Africa have put no-frills cellphones in weatherproof cases on a collar that goes around an elephant's neck. The phone sends a message every hour, revealing the animal's whereabouts, explains USA Today.
It cuts the cost of tracking wildlife by up to 60%, said Professor Wouter van Hoven of the University of Pretoria's Center for Wildlife Management.
Saidi, a Zanzibar fisherman, can now check beforehand whether prices justify him sailing his catch to the Tanzanian mainland, while Wilson Kuria Macharia, head of the traders' association at the Nairobi market, says he no longer has to spend two to four weeks at a time roaming across Kenya and Tanzania in search of fresh produce. "A few mobile phone calls take care of what used to be the most grueling part of the business," he explained.
People who don't own a cellphone can use public telephone centers linked to cellular networks, creating badly needed jobs.
The number of subscribers in the nation of more than 130 million has jumped from about 700,000 to over 10 million, and hawkers make a living selling air time cards to motorists trapped in traffic.
On the downside, however, bus passengers on cross-country journeys have to turn off their cellphones because criminals are known to use them to coordinate highway robberies.
October 3, 2005
In Argentina Greenpeace is providing indiginous people with mobile phones so that they can text for help when their lands are under attack from developers, according to Mike Grenville for 160characters.org. As well as sending help, Greenpeace also used SMS to call up protesters for an instant demonstration in Buenos Aires to urge the president to spare forests.
... "We use SMS with grassroots and indigenous communities soldiers when landowners are tying to evict people or use bulldozers to destroy the forest" said Oscar Soria, Communications Director, Greenpeace Argentina. "SMS is the most accessible method for indigenous people as they don't have landlines or access to electricity". "In some cases Greenpeace supplies the phones and car battery to charge the phones when there is no electricity in the village."
September 16, 2005
Researchers in Kenya and South Africa are using cell phone technology to gather information on elephants, cheetahs, leopards and other animals, reports Pravda.
"The relatively cheap tracking device includes a no-frills cell phone that is put in a weatherproof case with a GPS receiver, memory card and software to operate the system. The unit, placed on a collar, is then tied around the neck of a wild animal, according to the AP.
As the animals roam, "the GPS receives coordinates, downloads them onto the memory chip, and then every hour, the phone wakes up and sends a text message of the last hour's coordinates to a central server," said Michael Joseph of Safaricom, Kenya's leading service provider, which is involved in an elephant-tracking project.
Then the phone goes to sleep again, preserving battery power."
September 12, 2005
According to Wired, humans may not be the only animals using cell phones in the near future.
"Ornithologists and engineers at Oregon State University are planning to strap tiny mobile phones to songbirds and monitor the birds' migration with unprecedented accuracy.
But the birds will not "phone home" like college kids calling from spring break destinations. Instead, the cellular devices will send simple codes to cell towers along migratory routes.
The devices attached to the birds will share unique identification numbers with cell towers as they pass within range. Network service providers will record the ID numbers, the towers contacted and the times when contact was made."
Related: In 2002, UK's Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust tagged 20'000 geese and tracked them with satellite technology from the breeding grounds of Canada to Ireland, a 3'000 km flight. Mobile phone users were able to sign up online for text messages on the whereabouts of the migrating geese.
More on: mobile wildlife tracking in Textually.
August 25, 2005
Australian farmers could soon be using their mobile phone or the internet to open the farm gate from anywhere in the world, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
"Technology developed at the University of New England in NSW will enable farmers to remotely control and monitor livestock movement by using their mobile phone or the internet.
It will also eventually allow them to monitor and control the farm gate and water trough levels.
Currently, the system has been developed to allow in-built alarm systems in the farm gate and water trough to send an automatic mobile phone text message if an unannounced visitor opens the gate or the water levels fall too low.
"Farmers can use the system for security surveillance as well as for stock monitoring," Mr Doyle said.
"It will be particularly useful for farmers working several properties at once, and for those who also have a job in town.
"It will save them travel time, as well as fuel costs and other expenses."