When you think about the connections between nature and technology, you usually wouldn’t think of some positive ones.
You would argue that technological advances are at the expanse of nature – deforestation, pollution, water shortages, and so on.
However, there are different sides to every story, and technology has its bright side, as well. It has brought us closer to the wildlife than we could have imagined, and here are some of the technologies that have achieved that.
Introduction to Nature
The best way to appreciate the wonders of nature is finding out everything you can about them. This has never been easier owing to technology. Imagine being in the center of the natural life, and all you can do is stand there, enjoying the view, but not really knowing what’s going on. Fortunately, there is one little technological wonder – a smartphone. Now, you can access all kinds of information about nature in just several seconds, instead having to leaf through an enormous book, provided that you have one on you. Phones nowadays have different apps that can provide you with the information you need by only touching the screen. An app called LeafSnap, for example, can identify tree species owing to a recognition software. Technology has provided us with an opportunity to learn about nature while being in nature, and this is much better than learning about nature only within four walls.
We are the ones who are supposed to protect nature, however, we are also the ones who are destroying it. Despite our efforts to preserve our environment, or to protect endangered species, some of the “bad guys” always find a way around it. Fortunately, we have technology on our side, and we should use all that it offers to fight crime, that is, wildlife crime. Some of the creative technological innovations that will be used for eradicating poaching and wildlife trafficking include:
- Smartphone apps – An app has been developed for collecting information in bird markets in Indonesia, where people can easily purchase and sell rare species. A user uses the app to seemingly send a text message, but instead the app will be used to collect data on the species.
- Fake eggs – What’s better for luring poachers than sea turtles’ eggs that look like they are real, feel like they are like, except that they are not. These fake eggs will have tracking devices inside them, and they will be placed in the nests of real sea turtles. All we have to do is wait.
- Electronic Nose – There are black markets for illegal wildlife products; however, figuring out which products are illegal, and which aren’t isn’t easy. A device that will be used to solve this problem is an electronic nose. This portable technology will use smell to determine wildlife origin.
Owing to numerous documentaries, whether from the Natural Geographic, Discovery Channel, or YouTube, we have an opportunity to see even the remotest areas of our planet. With appropriate equipment, including high quality wildlife camera, we can witness the wonders of nature. Every petal of the smallest flower, every crease of a tree, every single detail of a tiger’s fur – all of this is available to us, thanks to technology. We can observe the natural life in its purest form without disturbing it with our presence. We can travel to the depths of the oceans and enjoy the sight that we wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. And the best thing is that we can watch a lion’s cub grow up via live cameras.
Technology has taken its toll, and nobody can deny that. However, it has connected us with nature in ways that you have never imagined. Next time you see a secret life happening in the deepest areas of the sea, remember that we owe that to technology.