GPS transceivers to help fight poaching at Russian nature reserves

GPS transceivers to help fight poaching at Russian nature reserves

4 October 2012

Specialists from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and representatives of Far Eastern nature reserves have been testing the MIST anti-poaching system for 12 months. Inspectors were issued GPS transceivers enabling them to coordinate their efforts forcatching poachers, to identify the most convenient poaching sites and to mark areas where tiger tracks were discovered.


Inspectors filled out questionnaires and provided information on the number of fines, poachers' tracks discovered and other parameters. It was possible to pinpoint the location of remote sections of the nature reserves, places which are not reached by inspectors, an IFAW official noted.


Alexander Laptev, director of the Lazovsky Reserve in the Primorye Territory, explained that the programme had won a reputation as a useful supplemental support system because inspectors are mostly supposed to catch poachers, and because the human factor plays the main role here.


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The MIST programme is primarily used in international tiger conservation efforts. Based on a geographic data-exchange network, MIST makes it possible to assess the performance of territorial patrols, including the duration of their foot and motor-vehicle missions to combat poachers. MIST also assesses the results obtained, including the confiscation of illegal weapons, animal skins and the number of fines issued.