Community monitoring of poaching in the Republic of Congo
Under a programme with the logging company Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), the Mbendjele people of northern Congo use hand-held devices for resource mapping and monitoring (see here). Concerned about over -hunting by commercial poachers, the community requested new software to capture their knowledge of the poachers’ movements. In response, in 2012 the ExCiteS programme was launched at UCL to develop a set of software for use by communities to record evidence of poachers’ activities and use this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of anti-poaching patrols. The software was developed in consultation with the Mbendjele and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The data collection platform uses Android smartphones and is based on a decision tree of pictorial icons, with smartphone features such as GPS and inbuilt compass used to augment the observations recorded.