The Desert National Park (DNP) in Rajasthan has become the first in the state to use an android-based software for tracking and patrolling the activities of frontline staff. The field staff make use of this software to make observations on important information while patrolling. This is transmitted in real time to the authorities through a mobile-based application. This is viewed by the authorities via internet.
Technology Aiding Conservation
The application named ‘Hejje’ (pug mark) was developed by a Bangalore-based private company. It is an android-based monitoring system to address the various problems associated with staff monitoring. This system, which runs on GPS, is already in use in 18 protected locations including Periyar and Bandipur. To make use of the system, the forest employees are equipped with mobile phones having the software application uploaded on to it.
This is a very cost-effective and simple way of monitoring frontline staff and expanding the knowledge base of the park. The only requirement is an android-based smart phone and a 2G data connection as low as Rs 100 a month. The continuous inflow of information into the system while the personnel are out in the field cumulatively develops the information on the entire park.
Uses Of the App
The Desert National Park expands over an area of 3162 sq.km over Jaisalmer and Barmer districts, making it one of the largest national parks in India and making regular and extensive patrolling a daunting task. Now that the application is in use, the extent of patrolling and time spent by the staff in the field are all recorded and transmitted to the authorities within minutes.
The minutest of details, which used to get lost in communication is now observed in great detail because of the system installed in the mobile phones of the field staff.
The application helps to make the patrolling more efficient by covering all areas of the park. The Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) collates all the details sent from the mobiles of all the patrolling staff. A patrolling map is generated and suitable instructions are given to the staff to move into unpatrolled areas.
Staff delinquency can also be kept in check. Earlier there were complaints that staff of wildlife wing all over India remained absent from duty making the task for poachers easy.
Desert National Park is one of the few parks in India where the ciritically endangered Great Indian Bustard is found. With the use of such applications, the staff has taken a step forward towards better protection of such species.
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