“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.” ~Havelock Ellis.
Welcome to the Wildeas Blog.
My name is Nir Tenenbaum. I am first and foremost a doctor of veterinary medicine with a passion for nature, the environment and particularly the protection of wildlife and endangered species on land, in the air and at sea. I am also an MBA graduate, a retired Air Force airborne ranger and an alumnus of the defense industry, with over seventeen years’ experience in applied intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in a variety of defense, homeland security and civilian challenges. I have designed, directed, deployed, operated and trained others to operate various types of systems in numerous countries. Presently, I consult on various wildlife technology projects, including my latest work with the WWF Wildlife Crimes Technology Project.
Environmental crimes such as logging, pollution and wildlife poaching are a serious and widespread problem, which sees thousands of endangered species, such as Gorillas, Elephants and Rhinos, slaughtered every year by Environmental criminals who use modern tools to ply their trade with distressing effectiveness, often using threats and technology to tip the balance of power in their favor. This reality is often dwarfed next to growing humanitarian distress in disaster stricken areas and in various sites around the world where distress has simply become the norm.
International and local conservation and humanitarian groups have been searching for new ways to combat growing threats and stave off diminishing resources all over the world, using various methods and technologies at their disposal. Unfortunately, while technology has been put to work in several conservation efforts, especially in anti-poaching campaigns, the majority of these endeavors, albeit costly, have failed, due to the lack of due process; the absence of the required, combined knowledge and experience; failure to properly analyze the needs on the ground; selecting solutions in a haphazard way; inadequate implementation, training and/or maintenance; and ultimately, the absence of long-term strategy and contingencies.
Examples of the inappropriate and wasteful use of technological resources are numerous and span the globe from South America to Asia and Africa, as evident by over 1,000 Rhinos who were killed in South Africa during 2013 alone. Amazingly, over $20 billion have been appropriated annually to biodiversity conservation efforts in recent years, but the main tools on the ground remain vehicles and people – dedicated men and women whose efforts are underfunded and underequipped, left to use 30-year-old tools.
I ceated this blog to openly discuss the adaptation of advanced defense and HLS methods and technologies for wildlife conservation, environmental protection and Humanitarian causes. My mission is to inform on the realistic possibilities out there, to raise viable questions, stir the air for debate, and allow current and future ideas to come forth, while eventually inspiring action.
As a Veterinary doctor, with a long history in the defense industry and as the son of a beloved pediatrician who dedicated his life to children, my aspiration is the protection of wildlife and its habitats, assistance to humanitarian causes while empowering communities. I believe that existing defense technology can help in humanitarian efforts and tip the balance back in favor of the survival of endangered species and the protection of natural resources. I hope to openly discuss the realistic capabilities and viability of systems and methods in their strive to solve challenges in the field.
The goal should not be to introduce specific technology merely for the sake of using technology, but rather to properly select and deploy systems and methods for each area as part of a greater strategy that empowers rangers and activists to fulfill their mission, proactively and efficiently, creating long-term impact on illegal activity, decreasing poaching levels and improving conservation and humanitarian efforts.