Special Projects

 

The goal of our Special Projects department is to introduce new technologies and innovative methods of conservation, anti-poaching and research and monitoring, which allow the Fund to produce more effective and efficient results.  This can only happen with well-trained and dedicated teams on the ground, which embrace and optimally utilize these innovative technologies. Thus our Special Projects team works very closely with other departments to ensure accurate implementation.

The special projects will give us the ability to extend our operational capabilities and put us on the forefront of cutting edge conservation.  Singita Grumeti Fund is currently working on establishing several new special projects, including a Canine Unit with detection and tracker dogs, Domain Awareness System, Reconnaissance Drones and other aerial support.

 

The sharing of these new technologies and the gathering of information on other projects being used in the wider conservation field is important to us.  Special projects allow for a level of communication and knowledge sharing that we hope will extend to other organizations also working to preserve and enhance natural habitats.

Domain Awareness System (DAS)

Data is instantaneously fed into this database by our conservation, research and monitoring and law enforcement teams operating throughout the property.  This data can be accessed on a real-time basis and translated into useful information that enables managers from the relevant Fund departments to make informed management decisions.  The real-time application of this database is seen as a game-changer in our efforts to secure the ecological integrity of the western Serengeti.

Canine Unit

Maintaining a robust and effective law enforcement presence throughout the Singita Grumeti concession areas has been critical to the successful recovery of local wildlife populations.

 

The Singita Grumeti Fund sees the development of a dedicated detection dog unit as essential in our ongoing quest to stay one step ahead of poachers.  The permanent presence of highly skilled sniffer dogs will also help shift our focus from reactive to proactive law enforcement, catching poachers before they have succeeded in killing wildlife.

 

To accomplish this noble conservation endeavor, the Singita Grumeti Fund has partnered with Montana-based Working Dogs for Conservation to select, train and deploy our newest Grumeti law enforcement recruits.  It is a long and costly exercise, but we anticipate having our Canine Unit up and running in the second half of 2017.

Reconnaissance Drone Program

The reconnaissance drone is fitted with photographic recognition software and video capability. The drone will fly on pre-set grids taking video footage. The photographic recognition software is designed to pick up and differentiate potential threats like poachers and cattle from naturally occurring objects like wildlife. If a potential threat is recognized, a short video clip is flagged for the ops room technician to review the footage. Once a threat is verified, the Domain Awareness System (DAS) registers this information in real-time and law enforcement assets are immediately dispatched to deal with the problem.

Additional innovative projects

There are an almost infinite number of exciting possibilities for technological innovation, collaborations and joint-venture projects.  The Singita Grumeti Fund is always on the lookout for like-minded individuals and conservation-oriented philanthropists with whom we explore these opportunities.  A small selection of already identified opportunities include: infrared and night vision technologies to conduct more efficient anti-poaching night operations, and aerial support (fixed wing or helicopter) for scout deployments during the wet season, migration or when there is high-density of elephants on the concessions and poaching threats escalate.