From an ecological perspective it is crucial to prevent poaching, argues dr. Frank van Langevelde. But how can this be done?
Ecologist dr. Frank van Langevelde illustrates the importance of the prevention of wildlife crime by digging into the effects of poaching of especially large animals such as rhino, elephant, tiger, on ecosystem functioning. These large animals often have a more than proportional function for the ecosystem and their decrease changes the landscape.
He then discusses various ways of preventing poaching, and highlights their pros and cons. Anti-poaching approaches can vary from increasing militarization or applying technological innovations to alleviating poverty. Finally, he addresses the question whether we can use wildlife itself to detect the presence of poachers.
Dr. Frank van Langevelde is associate professor in the Resource Ecology group of Wageningen University. His interests include studying animal movements and constraints on this movement due to, for example, fragmentation and harsh weather conditions, and effects of these constraints on the distribution and dynamics of local populations and communities of animals. The subjects range from honeybees, butterflies, hedgehogs, impala and elephants. His research and teaching are generally characterized by the combination of modelling and experiments. At the moment, he is involved in developing the idea of Smart Parks to prevent rhino poaching in South Africa. The idea of Smart Parks, based on Smart Cities, aims to apply a variety of connected high-tech sensors to detect intrusion of poachers.