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Anti-poaching campaign needs $100,000 to turn old smartphones into mantraps


See the solar petal in the image above? That's the housing for a recycled Android smartphone that raises the alarm if it detects heavy movement in the nearby area. It's part of a network of old phones that Rainforest Connection uses to prevent illegal logging in western Sumatra. After successfully proving that the technology works, the organization is hoping to use the same technology not just to save huge swathes of rainforest, but also to stop poachers killing endangered animals in Africa.

That's why Rainforest Connection is now taking to Kickstarter in order to raise $100,000 to fabricate the housing for the reconditioned smartphones. In addition, the charity will spend eight weeks in Cameroon training local rangers to use the technology to preserve both around 100 square kilometers of rainforest and the animals inside. If that target is surpassed, then the additional cash will go to funding projects in Brazil, Panama and Indonesia, but if that hasn't convinced you, then maybe Neil Young, himself no stranger to crowdfunding, can change your mind.

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