GoCanvas in South Africa – Report from the Bush

By scott shea on February 13, 2013

Upon arriving to South Africa, I was anxious to see how GoCanvas is helping the Sabi Sand Wildtuin Game Reserve. The first day we went out in to the field, I got two perfect examples. Initially GoCanvas was just used to track Rhino poaching, but like most of our customers, it quickly spread to other sectors to help efficiency. The first use of GoCanvas I witnessed exemplified this perfectly.

We got a call early on Monday morning that the health of a Lioness they are tracking had deteriorated. The lioness has been in contact with a rabid dog that had come through the security fence. They kept an eye on the Lion to see how the health and its interaction with the rest of the pride was going. Unfortunately, this Lioness was not doing doing so well. The Conservation Officers at Sabi realize the threat that rabid dogs bring to the predatory animals that attract so many people to the Reserve. So, they are beginning to use GoCanvas to monitor where the dogs are coming in. Once they have the data to lock down the location of the dogs breaching the Reserve, they can begin inoculating all the animals that are in danger of contracting the disease.

The second example, was the exact use they initial designed a GoCanvas Custom Mobile App. We got a call that a lot of vultures were hanging out in a tree. The vultures usually only congregate in an area i f there is a large carcass in the area. Unfortunately, this is most often a Rhino. We drove (off road) to the tree and saw the vultures for ourselves. We got as close as we could, but from the distance we were, we could not locate any carcass. The Conservation Officer took out his Samsung Android device and began fillin out the app. He took a picture of the tree for a reference point. He also captured the GPS of the location. Once the app was submitted, a team was notified to go on search first thing in the morning. Luckily, no carcass was found.

The first couple days have been really eye opening in terms of the potential of how GoCanvas can help. Seeing the use in real life is great. The entire staff has personally thanked me for what GoCanvas is doing. They have all commented on the hours upon hours of work GoCanvas is saving them because of all the efficiency GoCanvas has provided.

I am looking forward to the meetings we have set up to spread the word of GoCanvas to other Reserves and the Nationals Parks service.