Geography and geospatial science were at the forefront when Megyn Kelly debuted her new show on NBC this past Sunday night. Besides the widely anticipated interview with President Vladimir Putin, veteran reporter Harry Smith interviewed AGS Councilor and International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) Chief of Staff, Faye Cuevas about IFAW’s work to eradicate elephant poaching. What is not so obvious in the interview is that this work would not have been possible without the technology developed by Fulcrum, one of the world’s creative leaders of mobile data collection and founded by another AGS Councilor, Tony Quartararo. If you love elephants, geography, geospatial science or have two minutes to spare, keep reading for the story behind the story!
Kenya’s Wildlife Service (KWS) and IFAW are partnering on an anti-poaching strategy called “tenBoma” to join local wildlife protection officers with high-tech data collection and analysis tools to stop elephant and rhino poachers before they cause harm. In the operation tenBoma wildlife security strategy, IFAW and KWS use data developed and made available by Fulcrum, a mobile data collection platform that makes it easy to share mobile survey forms to be captured on a map.
Investigation Officers working with the KWS head into the field equipped with smartphones to submit forms. These are called “investigative field reports.” This data collecting system helps Investigation Officers communicate intel on the ground quickly. Efficient ground work helps Intelligence Officers better understand the criminal networks responsible for poaching activities. Fulcrum’s easy-to-navigate platform is a crucial part of the tenBoma initiative as it allows users to collect information quickly in ways they could not have done before. “It is great to see technology like Fulcrum solving real problems by unifying the local knowledge of law enforcement officers. With a source of high-quality local intelligence fused into a single database, officials can stay steps ahead of the poaching activity,” said Coleman McCormick, President of Fulcrum.
“The story on NBC news is just one more example of how geospatial tools are changing the world. We are so proud to have our councilors Tony Quartararo and Faye Cuevas leading the way in such an important project,” said John Konarski, CEO of AGS.
Hey! Before you go…watch the report from the Megyn Kelly show to learn the effect poaching has in the elephant’s lives: