CSIR predictive modelling will boost battle against rhino poaching
Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) specialising in data fusion and mathematics have developed a predictive modelling tool that will assist SANParks in decision-making. Tasked with patrolling an area some 19 500 square kilometres in size with limited resources, this newly implemented model will assist counter-poaching units to deploy sensors and manpower at the right time, at the right place. The predictive modelling tool utilises both a statistical model based on expert knowledge, which is used mainly for reasoning about the rhino poaching problem, and a data-driven model, which is used mainly for making predictions. Dr Pieter de Villiers, a CSIR principal researcher, says the CSIR predictive modelling tool will assist SANParks with better decision-making in the deployment of technologies. “The Kruger National Park is vast in terms of surface area with a limited number of rangers available for patrols. This tool will help to better direct rangers and deploy technologies such as radars, perimeter surveillance systems and other sensors used to detect poachers,” he said. CSIR applied mathematician, Hildegarde Koen, started working on a concept that could potentially tip the balance back into the favour of the rangers.