Anti-poaching device detects gunshot noises

Jaguar sitting on rain forest soil

ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Faculty Affiliate Garth Paine developed a tool that tracks gunshots in rainforests to stop illegal poaching of wild animals.

This device identifies sonic characteristics of a gunshot from a mile away that reports the location of the shot to local authorities. Originally, wildlife conservationists used camera traps to document illegal poaching. However, if the perpetrators sighted the cameras they destroyed them.

Paine is an associate professor at ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering and School of Music, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts / Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“Current commercial gunshot detection systems cost millions of dollars and require expensive ongoing financial contracts to maintain and monitor them. This system will cost only a few hundred dollars per unit and can be built and deployed by anybody with intermediate electronics and computer science skills, typical of the skilled DIYer,” Paine explained.

There are over a thousand poachers in the United States alone, but only one to five percent of them are caught. This new development could help protect endangered species and eradicate illegal wildlife trafficking and poaching, one of the main threats to biodiversity loss.

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