JEJU, South Korea, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Conservation organizations say a free high-tech tool announced at a South Korea conference will allow grassroots rangers to combat the wildlife poaching crisis.
Introduced at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, the open-source, non-proprietary software system is dubbed SMART, for Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool.
It is designed to help park and community rangers fight illegal wildlife trade by identifying poaching hot spots, improving rapid response measures and calculating the impact of anti-poaching efforts to maximize results, a release from the Wildlife Conservation Society based in New York said Tuesday.
Rangers in protected areas around the world will be trained on how to use SMART, and equipped with global positioning system devices, they will be part of a global network of support, the release said.
"This new system will ensure rangers in the field have the best training and most sophisticated tools they need to patrol wild places threatened by well-armed and well-funded criminals illegally killing off wildlife across the globe," said David Wilkie, director of conservation support for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
"We need to provide our rangers with the smartest technology to effectively stop the high level of poaching now killing off tigers, elephants, gorillas, rhinoceros, turtles and other endangered species."