Jun 28, 2017 | Updated: 02:25 PM EDT

Smartphones Can Now Help Save The Rainforests

Mar 27, 2017 07:06 PM EDT

Topher White speaks onstage at National Geographic Presents 'Nat Geo Further Base Camp' At SXSW 2017-Day 4 on March 14, 2017 in Austin, Texas.
(Photo : Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

There is a new innovation that is sure to help the Amazon rainforests in South America. Making use of today's advanced technology mankind's latest effort in conservation makes use of solar-powered cell phones effectively and strategically placed at the canopies of large trees linked by a single and new application exclusively made to help park rangers, conservationists and even common citizens in preserving the rainforests.

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Rainforests used to cover around 12 percent of the world but now, it is unfortunate that what plays such a vital role to most living species today only covers about 2 percent of the world, much less than what it used to. This rapid loss of the world's rainforests can be attributed to several factors and most of them are linked to human activities. Thankfully, though, there are also people out there working to fight against the rapid deforestation of the rainforests.

One such person is engineer and physicist, Topher White, creator of this new conservation-friendly app now called the 'Rainforest Connection.' With the phones carefully hidden in the trees, the new app would help detect sounds linked to illegal logging. Through the app in park rangers' smartphones, they would be able to pick up on the sound and act accordingly. White became highly involved in rainforests conservation back in 2012 when he volunteered for a Gibbon protection program in Borneo. According to Digital Trends, he discovered on that trip that conservationists spent almost half of their budget in fighting illegal logging and the problem White saw is how heavily reliant the conservationists are on satellites to help them detect illegal logging activity. Unfortunately, by the time these conservationists can take action, it is already too late.

According to White, if park rangers can stop illegal loggers while they're still on their way, it would also prevent a stand-off between the two parties and both sides can just talk it down, Tech Radar reports. The cell phones which go up in the trees, called 'guardian phones,' are basically about five to six years old but are still very powerful. White had outfit these phones to detect the sound of chainsaws, vehicles, gunshots and even certain species of animals.

What's even great about this app is that even regular citizens can make use of it to help protect the trees. By simply using the app and detecting highly suspicious sounds, regular people can help alert the authorities involved and help stop illegal logging activity before it even begins.


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