Conservation biologist warns that "cyber-poachers" could use tracking tags to hunt endangered animals

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Wow, a headline that understates the problem? Not that they can take advantage of the tracking tags - they already are.


All beings should have a right to privacy.

If only we knew who the cyber-poaching hunters were, what a joy it would be to home-in on their phone’s signal and hunt them in retaliation. turn-about is fair play.


Carleton University biologist Steven Cooke and colleagues describe a series of incidents in which poachers have used tracking tags placed on wild animals for conservation purposes to find and kill those animals.

I might have missed it. But is there a verified source and link to those specific incidents?

Because if so…the headline is incorrect. “Could use” should be “Have Used”


About 10 years ago I encountered a group of hunters near Deer Creek North of Lake Cavanaugh in Skagit County. They were on an ATV and had a directional receiver tuned to the collars in use here. They had the “mandatory” big guns, even though it was not hunting season for any big game at the time. So yes, “could use” can be changed to “do use”.

OK, so there is a conflict between open data and conservation. This makes sense, but there do seem to be some solutions. First encrypt all telemetry data so that it is only accessible to the researchers involved in the study. And still provide a non-realtime feed of this data for other researchers to use. This seems to achieve both of the goals, no?


It is trivial to triangulate on an active transmitter to determine the transmitter’s location. Granted, you may not know what the transmitter is attached to, but if it’s in a national park or other restricted area where wildlife is found then the odds are excellent that it’s something a morals-free hunter (shooter, really, since at that point there’d be naff all “hunting” going on) would want to kill.

This is why we can’t have nice conservation efforts.


Fair enough, I didn’t really think it would be that easy.


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