Every year, poachers kill about 27,000 African elephants—an astounding 8 percent of the population. If current trends continue, these magnificent animals could be gone within a decade.
The solution, of course, is to stop poachers before they strike. The solution proposed is similar to software developed by CEAMOS to stop criminals in Chile with Carabineros: predictive software. In protected areas like wildlife preserves, elephants and other endangered animals may roam far and wide, while rangers can patrol only a small area at any time. “It’s a two-part problem,” explains Milind Tambe, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. “Can you predict where poaching will happen? And can you [target] your patrols so that they’re unpredictable, so that the poachers don’t know the rangers are coming?”