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SMART Conservation and Ranger Training


The Front Lines of Wildlife Protection


Wildlife poaching is reaching epidemic proportions in some parts of the world. Driven by a lucrative black market for wildlife products and expanding human populations, illegal hunting threatens iconic species like rhinos, elephant and gorilla. Rangers and other law enforcement staff are the critical first line of defense against illegal animal killing, but in the developing world they are often under-trained and poorly equipped, especially when confronting increasingly sophisticated poachers.

A New Approach to Conservation Law Enforcement


In partnership with some of the world’s largest conservation organizations, the NC Zoo has helped to develop a brand new tool to support rangers around the world. SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is a software package that allows national parks and other protected areas to be more strategic in their conservation work, allowing them to better plan, evaluate and implement their activities. SMART puts cutting edge technology in the hands of rangers and other law enforcement staff. Using SMART, conservation agencies can better understand patterns of wildlife distribution and illegal activity, and use this information to better target their actions. The sophisticated technology that underlies SMART gives rangers the advantage they need to combat poaching in a serious and decisive manner.

Helping Rangers Stop Poaching


One of the places where the North Carolina Zoo will soon help to deploy the SMART system is Nigeria’s Yankari Game Reserve. Yankari is home to Nigeria’s last viable population of elephants, in addition to lions, hippo and other wildlife. The zoo has been working in Yankari, providing training, equipment and support to over 100 park rangers, for several years. We have conducted wildlife surveys, trained rangers in data collection and analysis, and provided uniforms in order to increase the effectiveness of their actions. We are confident that a new SMART-based ranger program will turn the tide against poaching once and for all.

Saving Species>


Cross River Gorillas

Tracking Elephants from Space

Vultures of Southern Tanzania

Hellbender Salamander

Red Wolves of the Alligator River

SMART Conservation and Ranger Training

U.N.I.T.E. Conservation Education

Chimpanzee Conservation

Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative

Crane Conservation

Endangered Monkeys of Bioko

Mobile Bat Detector

Ostrich Recovery Project

Polar Bear Conservation

Protecting Endangered Pacific Birds

Rothschild’s Giraffe Project

Tools for Monitoring Carnivores

Saving Species>


Cross River Gorillas

Tracking Elephants from Space

Vultures of Southern Tanzania

Hellbender Salamander

Red Wolves of the Alligator River

SMART Conservation and Ranger Training

U.N.I.T.E. Conservation Education

Chimpanzee Conservation

Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative

Crane Conservation

Endangered Monkeys of Bioko

Mobile Bat Detector

Ostrich Recovery Project

Polar Bear Conservation

Protecting Endangered Pacific Birds

Rothschild’s Giraffe Project

Tools for Monitoring Carnivores

Saving Species>


Cross River Gorillas

Tracking Elephants from Space

Vultures of Southern Tanzania

Hellbender Salamander

Red Wolves of the Alligator River

SMART Conservation and Ranger Training

U.N.I.T.E. Conservation Education

Chimpanzee Conservation

Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative

Crane Conservation

Endangered Monkeys of Bioko

Mobile Bat Detector

Ostrich Recovery Project

Polar Bear Conservation

Protecting Endangered Pacific Birds

Rothschild’s Giraffe Project

Tools for Monitoring Carnivores