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Thermal imaging & vision systems


Protecting rhinos with thermal tech


In the last 40 years we have lost 96 per cent of the world’s black rhino population. FLIR is on a mission to save African rhinos and the company’s thermal imaging technology is playing a key role in helping conserve the species


fueling the poaching of some of Africa’s most iconic and threatened species such as rhinos. The population of Africa’s black rhino declined significantly in the 20th century to less than 2,500 in 1995. Thanks to persistent conservation efforts across Africa, today their number exceeds 5,000 individuals. Kenya has just over 700 black


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rhinos, despite persistent poaching threats that imperil decades of conservation success. Poachers primarily operate at night, stealing into parks and private reserves under cover of darkness. Equipped with little more than flashlights, park rangers have vir tually no chance of intercepting them. To tackle this challenge, the World Wildlife Fund has been working to equip park


he global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth up to $23 billion per year,


rangers with night vision technology. Beginning in 2016, WWF and


FLIR Systems teamed up to equip rangers in Kenya with night vision thermal technology that could protect rangers, rhinos, and other wildlife in Lake Nakuru National Park and the Masaai Mara National Reserve. Over the past four years, more than 250 poachers have been apprehended and no rhinos have been poached where the FLIR cameras were operating. Building off that success, in 2019


WWF and FLIR launched Kifaru Rising—an ambitious programme to expand the use of thermal technology for rhino protection in Kenya from two to 11 parks and reserves. In suppor t of Kifaru Rising (in Kiswahili, Kifaru means ‘rhino’), FLIR has committed more than $3 million in thermal technology to help secure Kenya’s rhinos. In the wake of


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November 2020 Instrumentation Monthly


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