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Smart technologies will help protect wild reindeer in Yakutia and Krasnoyarsk Krai

18 april 2019
At the initiative of WWF-Russia, inspectors of the Ministry of Ecology of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental Management of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Taimyr Nature Reserves and the Central Siberian Reserve have been trained in the use of SMART technology to protect and monitor wild reindeer.

Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) is a modern system of conducting route surveys, keeping records of nature and assessing the state of the population. It is designed to facilitate the work of inspectors and scientists during expeditions.

During a raid or route census, the inspector logs all information into a smartphone through a special application. You can immediately upload photos and automatically record a GPS track. The obtained data are presented in a unified form and are easily analyzed and compared. Falsifying information about raids is not possible.

Thus, the new technology provides several advantages at once: it simplifies the work of the inspector or game manager, simplifies the analysis and development of proposals to improve the efficiency of the inspectors, and also allows you to avoid damage or loss of information and prompts the inspector what he has not yet noted.

“Conservation of wild reindeer as a commercial resource requires improving the efficiency of hunting sector, which becomes possible using modern information technologies,” says Sergey Verkhovets, coordinator of WWF-Russia Arctic Program. “The SMART program makes it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the raid activity and optimize it, as well as improve the accuracy of the monitoring work performed not only by the rangers, but also by the hunting users.”

Participants of the training workshops in both regions have repeatedly noted the importance of reindeer as the basis of the traditional lifestyle of many indigenous peoples of the north, pointing to the need for careful handling and maintenance of the existing populations. Thus, according to the Director of the Directorate of Bioresources and Nature Protected Areas of Yakutia Yakov Sivtsev, even the number of the largest Leno-Olenek population in Yakutia has noticeably decreased since last year, and now stands at about 85 thousand animals.

WWF России

After the training, WWF-Russia handed over six smartphones with SMART application to Yakutia specialists and another nine to environmentalists from Krasnoyarsk Region. The devices are shockproof and additionally protected. State inspectors and scientists suggested replicating the experience gained in other regions as a tool necessary for expeditions.

Te activities are implemented within the WWF-Russia project which is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

For additional information please contact
Press officer of the Barents project/Barents sea ecoregional program