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In Brazil, Trees To Call For Help If Illegally Felled 130

Damien1972 writes "The Brazilian government has begun fixing trees in the Amazon rainforest with a wireless device, known as Invisible Tracck, which will allow trees to contact authorities once they are felled and moved. Here's how it works: Brazilian authorities fix the Invisible Tracck onto a tree. An illegal logger cuts down the tree and puts it onto a truck for removal, unaware that they are carrying a tracking device. Once Invisible Tracck comes within 20 miles (32 kilometers) of a cellular network it will 'wake up' and alert authorities."
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In Brazil, Trees To Call For Help If Illegally Felled

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  • Brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RCC42 ( 1457439 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @08:32AM (#42699849)

    Elegant solution to a complex and difficult situation, made possible by technological advance. This is progress (and what slashdot is all about)

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:07AM (#42699913) Journal
    Illegal timber is big business, there are huge profits and people are prepared to get violent about it. A single hardwood tree can be worth tens of thousands of dollars, particularly fine furniture species. I imagine they would attach these things to the most valuable trees. There are other schemes to track where legal logs come from but they require a lot of manpower to police since each log needs to be checked to find unregistered logs. This idea certainly won't catch everyone but as you say these illegal loggers are a businesses with heavy equipment, a tree that calls home will expose the entire company behind the operation.

    BTW: How would one use an EMP without also frying the electronics in the trucks and bulldozers?
  • by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @09:34AM (#42700007) Journal

    Or maybe just make your own cellular signal near where you want to cut the tree (it's not as if anyone else in the middle of the rain forest will notice), and look for the signal of the device trying to phone home in order to find and remove it. Bonus: It even helps with finding the valuable trees, because those will be the ones equipped with the device.

  • by robot5x ( 1035276 ) <> on Saturday January 26, 2013 @04:12PM (#42702677)
    Precisely! I'm personally much more interested in 'legal' logging - that is, those big businesses who get government permits and official sanction to deforest at will, and make shit loads of money in the process. None of this would fall under the purview of such a scheme, since it is 'legal', but almost certainly more destructive on a regional or global scale.

    Would be interested in seeing some figures on estimated volumes of 'illegal' logging versus officially sanctioned 'legal' logging. Anyone?

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