WCS Malaysia Design Challenge

Wildlife Conservation

The Wildlife Conservation Society is an international organisation dedicated to protecting the last wild places on Earth. The WCS Malaysia programme protects iconic species such as tigers and elephants, as well as all the other life that lives in these wild areas. Many remarkable animals will no longer be found in Malaysia unless they can be protected. Malaysia’s forests also provide ecosystem services such as clean water for drinking, growing food, and sustaining industrial processes. If we don’t protect these wild places, the future of Malaysia and the wider world, looks bleak.

You can help save Malaysia’s iconic wildlife

“If we don’t protect these wild places, the future of Malaysia, and the wider world, looks bleak”

Tiger Track

WCS Malaysia uses camera traps to monitor key locations in the forest to protect tigers from poachers but there are several problems with this strategy. The cameras get stolen by poachers because they are easily visible. Replacing batteries and memory cards from the cameras is very time consuming and since there is no cellular coverage in the forest, it is not possible to get real-time images from cameras.

WCS Malaysia require assistance from engineers with this problem. A successful design should:

  • help WCS Malaysia monitor remote forest areas
  • be hidden or camouflaged so that criminals do not destroy the device
  • either power itself or have a battery life of approximately three months
  • be weather and insect proof

Elephant Track

Elephants are magnificent creatures that keep rainforests healthy and balanced, but sometimes they prefer to look for food in plantations. This crop raidingcauses tension with local villagers which can lead to elephants being killed or translocated. WCS Malaysia is looking for solutions to reduce these human elephant conflictsituations by keeping elephants out of plantations.

A successful design should:

  • alert villages to the presence of elephants near crops and/or deter elephants from entering plantations
  • be low cost. Plantations can be very large so the system will be deployed across a large area
  • include a way to report on the status of the device to aid maintenance
  • enable villagers to respond to the approaching animal quickly
  • be water and insect proof

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. WCS was first involved in Malaysia in the 1960s with the first ever surveys of orangutans in Sarawak, work that continues to this day. In Peninsular Malaysia, WCS began working alongside the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in the late 1990s on surveys of tigers throughout the Peninsular. By  2007, WCS Malaysia began focusing on specific landscapes and started working with the Johor National Parks Corporation in the Endau-Rompin Johor National Park and the Permanent Reserved Forests surrounding it. In 2010, WCS Malaysia expanded its work into Pahang as well. The aim of the work is to balance development and conservation interests and to protect the region’s wild tiger and elephant populations, among other species.