Want to Follow the Great Migration on Your Smartphone? There’s an App for That.
Wildebeest, zebras and other herbivores will be fitted with GPS tracking collars, which will broadcast information about the cyclical movements of the animals as they make their way across Serengeti National Park and into Kenya’s Maasai Mara in search of fresh grass. The technology will help researchers and conservationists gain a clearer understanding of when the animals move to a new location and why.
It will also allow users who are on safari to contribute to conservation efforts by reporting sightings of dozens of different species to researchers. They can even send alerts about animals in distress, which are passed along to park officials. Information about the locations of species targeted by poachers, such as rhinos and elephants, will not be shared with the public.
The app’s developers hope that the app will also help reduce tourist congestion around wildlife sightings by providing safari guides and tour operators with a tool to find animals in less crowded areas.
During the peak of the migration, close to 1.3 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebras, with predators close on their heels, can be seen galloping across the plains.