A key component of Panthera’s conservation strategy is law enforcement. Wild cats and their prey need well-trained ‘boots on the ground’ to effectively protect them from poachers and other threats. In order to be effective, these law enforcement patrols need to be coordinated and monitored.
Developed by a consortium of NGOs, SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is a computer-based platform used to measure, evaluate, and improve the effectiveness of wildlife law enforcement patrols.
First, critical data is manually collected by researchers in the field using GPS, maps, and personal data assistants. These data includes:
+ The location of patrol efforts
+ Patrol outcomes (such as number of arrests, snares removed, guns confiscated);
+ Illegal activities (such as poaching, logging, setting snares);
+ Signs, behaviors and locations of key wildlife populations
This information is uploaded to SMART, which rapidly analyses the data and produces maps, graphs, and automated reports. At Panthera’s sites, SMART is used to answer questions like:
+ What is the patrol coverage of law enforcement teams?
+ Have there been any changes in the frequency, distribution, or type of poaching over time?
+ What is the relative performance of different teams of rangers?
+ Where have key species been sighted?
+ Have there been any changes in the frequency or distribution of key species?