Creating an Effective Solution

Creating an Effective Solution

Cameras help address an invasive species epidemic

These days you hear a lot about the use of surveillance equipment is all avenues of life from banks to airports to your front porch, but a significant area that can often be overlooked is the agricultural, livestock and wildlife industry. The very advancements that have increased the use of security systems in all verticals have made impressive improvements in the invasive species abatement industry. According to the National Conservancy, invasives (plants, fish, and animals) have contributed to the decline of 42 percent of all threatened and endangered species in the United States.1

What are invasive species? The Department of Agriculture (USDA), defines invasive species as plants, animals or pathogens that are nonnative to the ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm to the land, native animals, and human inhabitants.

Currently, the United States spends upwards of $120 billion a year attempting to control the population of some of the worst invasive species such as, feral goats, rabbits, and hogs. Yes, I said hogs— feral or wild ones.2

A Southern Challenge

Feral hogs are destructive, invasive pests that are mostly found in the southeast and south-central part of the United States (Texas, Okla., Mo., Ark., La., Ala., and Miss.). In 2015 alone, they caused $1.5 billion worth of damage.3 Feral hogs searching for food can dig up to 18 inches deep, damaging cropland, pastures, residential yards, creek banks, and pond dams. They can strip the soil of vegetation, making it vulnerable to erosion and the loss of nutrients. Feral hogs also carry diseases that can be transmitted to pets, livestock, and human beings.

According to the National Feral Swine Mapping System, in 1982 hogs were found in 17 states. By 2004, they were in 28 states and by 2012, they were in 36 states. Hogs are continuing to increase in population and area.4 Their population is difficult to control, as one hog can produce two or three litters per year. To keep the population steady, 70 percent of the population must be eliminated each year.5 How can the surveillance industry and Dahua Technology, in particular, assist with improving this environmental concern? This case study takes you through one manner in which this is accomplished with portable traps and a live view from security cameras.

The Game Changer

The collaboration between Cellular Data Solutions, a Dahua Technology dealer partner, and Bull Creek Outdoors who provides their innovative trapping system, called Game Changer with Dahua Technology’s 2MP Network Cameras produced an innovative, industry-changing solution.

“Our solution using Dahua’s 2MP IR fixed mini-dome cameras,”president of Cellular Data Solutions Chuck Denton said. “And the end users internet device (phone, laptop and tablet) has revolutionized trapping of these invasive species.”

The customers for these types of traps are landowners, federal and state agencies, USDA, and local fish and game agencies or services in each state affected by the epidemic. The system is striving to become the No. 1 trap system on the market.

When hog traps are set up in areas where feral hogs are active, Dahua IR Fixed Mini Dome Network Cameras are mounted to the corral trap or mounted on a nearby tree limb. If a suitable tree is not nearby, they can be mounted on a fence post or structure that offers clear visibility. The data from the camera is transmitted in real time using the cellular network from Cellular Data Solutions to property owners.

Updates come through text messages and e-mails, with an immediate alert when a hog has entered the trap. When notified, the end user can view a live video of the trap to ensure that the hog is completely inside. The end user, when satisfied with the number of feral hogs in the trap can remotely close the trap in real time from any internet-connected device using Dahua’s IVS solution.

Denton chose the IR Fixed Mini Dome Network Camera for features such as Smart IR technology, Edge analytics with tripwire and object detention features, excellent image quality, and intelligent and efficient event reminders. The cameras are also weatherproof and vandal-proof.

Featuring Dahua’s Starlight Technology, the camera is ideal for applications with challenging lighting conditions. Its low-light performance delivers usable video with minimal ambient light. Even in extreme low-light conditions, Starlight Technology is capable of providing color images in near complete darkness, such as those often found on remote farms and properties, and game and fish reserves.

Trapping the Hogs

The trapping of these feral hogs has been transformed with the Bull Creek corral traps fitted with Dahua cameras.

“Trappers historically set-up two or more homemade pens to trap hogs, now with Bull Creek’s mobile corral traps and Dahua cameras the trappers can set-up our trap in 20 minutes or less and can trap three times as many hogs with fewer traps.” said Dennis Bayles of Bull Creek. “By having the capability of triggering the trap remotely through your cell phone or other internet enabled device, the trapper can leave the corral open for 24 to 48 hours to ensure all of the herd (sounder) is captured.”

Denton says he has been delighted with the cameras, especially with the Advanced Intelligent Functions that the camera provides, including Tripwire and Intrusion features. This gives trappers clear images inside and outside the corral trap.

“Hogs are intelligent and if the traps are closed too soon capturing the balance of the herd becomes more difficult and costly for the trappers,” Bayles said.

“These are very resilient cameras. The whole corral trapping system can be broken down and reset over and over again in a two week period of trapping,” said Denton. “Dahua’s surveillance solution assists Bull Creek, the trappers, property owners and government agencies in combatting a serious environmental issue. The security industry needs to continue to think outside the box, to help find ways for our technology to assist in all aspects of life and wildlife to the betterment of our ecosystem.”

This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Security Today.

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