Introduction of SMART Patrolling Tool for a better protection of wildlife resources
The most effective strategy to combat wildlife crime within and outside Wildlife Protected Areas (WLPAs), is to maintain continuous patrolling within them. The foot patrolling conducted by the field officers, since the inception of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), was subsequently done more effectively by using Campuses, GPS devices and Satellite images and by now it is realized that it should be further strengthen by using modern technology. Data and information collected while patrolling can be used for a proper management of wildlife resources.
One of the most effective modern strategies used by most of the countries rich in biodiversity, for recording data and information collected while patrolling within their wildlife reserves and adjacent areas, is use of SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) software. By that, the data and information collected while on a patrol, can be recorded in a hand held device and uploaded into a computer data base, which can be used for an effective management. The route taken by the patrolling team, locations where the key species of wildlife and human activities were observed will be mapped by using GIS technology, which can be used for future planning by the managers. The proper management will invariably ensure the long term protection of the wildlife resources.
Recently the SMART Tool was introduced to the WPAs in Sri Lanka and by now it is successfully used by the field officers of three major WPAs managed by DWC in the Southern and Eastern regions. It will be introduced to another three WLPAs within the month of January and it is expected to introduce SMART Patrolling to all the major WLPAs, within the next two years.