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IoT Use Case Friday – IoTdc Wildlife Conservation!

Protecting South Africa's endangered animals using IoT

IoTdc’s Use Case

IoTdc is a South African technology start-up founded in early 2019 by two lifelong friends who felt the African market was underestimated, underserved and overdue for a channel-focused IoT solutions partner. Both founders’ background was in traditional IT distribution, which is why IoTdc started its life focusing on simplifying connected devices.

With a diverse and thriving ecosystem of 15 world class partners, servicing over 100 clients across Africa and Europe. The purpose of IoTdc is to remove the complexity of IoT device selection, solution-specific integration, data visualisation and analytics.


Conservationists are challenged with protecting animal species from the loss and fragmentation of their natural habitat. Wire snares planted by bush-meat hunters, poaching and poisoning of animals for body parts, and people and disease-carrying domestic animals come into contact with wildlife outside of protected areas. Many scarce resources are required to deal with the threats. The problem is that most conservationists lack the human resources to deal with the vast area that needs to be covered.

Animals are still tracked manually, and when tracking devices are deployed, the equipment lacks the accuracy and battery life needed to be effective. There is no consistent visibility over personnel,animals or equipment deployed in the field. This opens up rangers and volunteers to unnoticed attacks from poachers, which makes the job more dangerous and harder to provide protection to the endangered species. Another factor is the expensive equipment is left vulnerable to theft, or unmonitored breakage.


We use an industrial-grade LoRaWAN gateways, which are deployed on high sites that are selected through analysing RF propagation. The LoRaWAN gateway can cover +/- 30km on low frequency / low-power. Beacons are deployed in areas with potential signal interference (like high vegetation areas). Factors we found important to the solution’s success are using devices with high battery life, which depending on the frequency that devices need to send a signal can last for years. To reduce the risk for rangers and volunteers in the field they are tagged with state of-the-art tracking devices. The devices have built-in panic buttons that can be programmed to send alerts to the control room should mobile personnel be in any danger and fitted with accelerometers for fall detection. High value and more targeted animals (like rhinoceroses and elephants) are selected and carefully sedated after which they will be fitted with tracking devices by trained park rangers. We carefully selected devices that allow rangers to get an approximate location of wild animals while increasing the tracker’s battery life. This way, our trackers can provide real-time geolocation while lasting for years. Vehicle assets can also be  monitored, giving you essential information such as location, engine on/off and fuel level.


Benefits to the Animals and Eco System

•  These innovative systems help to keep rangers and volunteers safe, allowing them to do their job protecting animals and the eco-system from poachers and other external threats.

•  Using longer life batteries reduces cost for these projects and allows for long-term, accurate monitoring of endangered species.

• Helps to keep these amazing animals alive, ensuring the continuation of their animal eco-system.

•  Creating effective, practical solutions that are sustainable and can protect the South African’s protected species for a long time.

Interested to learn more about what IoTDC do?

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