Karnataka: Garuda CCTV cameras to check man-wild conflict, poaching

The initiative aims to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts and will be subject to a thorough review after six months to assess its effectiveness

Mysore: In a pioneering initiative, advanced Garuda CCTV cameras are being installed in the Nagarahole Sanctuary area to monitor poacher activity and prevent human-animal conflicts.

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This marks the first implementation of a CCTV camera project in a South Indian wildlife sanctuary. A state-of-the-art CCTV camera tower, costing approximately Rs 32 lakh, is being erected to enhance surveillance and safeguard the sanctuary’s wildlife. The Garuda CCTV cameras, named after the powerful and majestic eagle, boast unique features and functionalities.

Swift transmission

Designed to provide instant information to the Forest Department, the Garuda CCTV cameras are strategically placed to monitor human-wildlife conflicts, track poachers, and observe the movement of tigers and elephants. The system can identify the number and type of animals, whether they are in groups or solitary, and even determine if poachers are armed. Photographs of any movement, be it a person or wildlife, are promptly transmitted to the department for swift action.

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The technology, managed by Bangalore-based Aldous, utilizes GI-based technology and is spearheaded by TVS SST company, undertaking the responsibility for the entire project. Drawing inspiration from the eagles exceptional vision and hunting prowess, the Forest Department named the initiative “Garuda.”

5-km radius

Each Garuda tower, featuring an electric pole of at least 20 meters in height, is equipped with a large camera at the top, complemented by two to three additional cameras. The primary camera can monitor animal movement within a 5 km radius, while smaller cameras focus on distances ranging from 5 to 50 meters. Solar panels and batteries ensure continuous operation, and the captured footage can be stored for up to six months.

One distinctive feature of this advanced technology is its connectivity, allowing seamless integration with other cameras installed across the Nagarahole  national Park through web, CCTV, and SIM-based connections. With an internet connection in place, thousands of Garuda cameras will operate 24/7 around Nagarhole National Park.

Review after 6 months

Speaking to Siasat.com on Saturday, deputy conservator of forests of Nagarhole National Park, Harsh Kumar Chiknaragunda, highlighted the significance of the project in monitoring wildlife movement comprehensively. “The initiative aims to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts and will be subject to a thorough review after six months to assess its effectiveness. The cooperation of local communities is deemed essential for the success of this conservation effort,” he said.

Currently, four Garuda towers have been erected, and plans are underway to install additional towers in the future, contributing to a total project cost of 32 lakhs.

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