Internet of Things (IoT) cloud platform provider Kii is working on a new ´citizen science´ conservation project with local fishermen in the Philippines to help monitor and track the dugong population in the region, the company said.
Partnering with Smart Earth Network (SEN) and C3 (Community Centered Conservation) who are managing the project, Kii is providing the cloud platform where fisherman, armed with smartphones, can upload geo-located images of the sea mammals via an Android app.
Known as sea cows, dugongs are marine mammals that live in the oceans around East Africa to the Western Pacific, but are now listed by the World Conservation Union, IUCN as a species vulnerable to extinction.
While legally protected, dugongs face many dangers, largely from local fishing, destruction of habitat and illegal hunting.
Around 30 fishermen have already been handed basic smartphones, supplied by local mobile provider, Cherry Mobile, as part of a trial in the Busuanga region of the country. Once out at sea, the fishermen photograph any dugongs they spot and then upload the images when they are back on land to a central database hosted on the Kii Cloud, using a simple app developed by SEN. The fishermen, many of whom are unable to read or write, are being trained on how to use the smartphones and provided with local charging facilities.
Each image will indicate the location of each dugong via GPS, allowing C3 to map the sightings and get a clear idea of the population in the area, timings of sightings, migration patterns, etc, and will enable the team to put together recommendations for future protection areas. The plan is to share the data with other conservationists worldwide, and also with the local Council of Development to help C3 lobby the local government.
Kii enables customers across the world to create IoT solutions with its scalable, easy to use and feature rich IoT platform.
SEN provides a platform for conservationists and technologists to share ideas, network and innovate solutions for practical challenges on the ground.
Community Centered Conservation was established in 2002 by an international group of marine environmental consultants in Palau. It is a non-profit organization with a unique grassroots approach and active members of the World Conservation Union, IUCN.