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Media Release: Hewlett Packard Gives R500 000 Towards Conservation

Date: 30th March 2001

Rangers in the Kruger National Park have always had to spend many hours during a month completing official documentation and doing various administrative functions. This had to be done manually and, on completion, sent to Skukuza via post.

Imagine if a vast amount of this time consuming work could be automated. This would free up the ranger’s time for conservation efforts, which of course is his/her main task. 

How much time is spent writing up diaries, and trying to collate all of this information? What happens if somebody 
needs to locate information in a diary? Hours could be spent trying to find this information. 

What happens if members of the flight section of the Kruger Park are up in the northern part of the park and they require information? 

Thanks to the efforts of Chris Piears, one of the South African National Parks’ Honorary Rangers, a sponsorship worth R500 000 has been negotiated with Hewlett Packard. Every section ranger in the Kruger has been supplied with a state-of-the-art computer, printer and modem. The flight section has also received a laptop and modem which will enable them to obtain information from anywhere in South Africa while out in the field. 

All rangers were trained in the use of computers and software, and a process has started to automate the majority of the paperwork. Douw Swanepoel, the ranger at the Olifants restcamp, has scanned - on a scanner also donated by Hewlett Packard - most of the paperwork used by the rangers and has designed user-friendly computer forms to make the rangers’ tasks much simpler. The plan is for the rangers to complete these forms electronically and then to e-mail them to Skukuza or wherever the information is required. This will also have significant advantages for the new "Cybertracker" project in Kruger, where field rangers collect information with palm pilot computers during daily patrols in the bush. 

Kruger Park Management has great appreciation for this donation from Hewlett Packard and the efforts of the Honorary Rangers to secure it. 

Chris Piears 
SANParks Honorary Ranger 
Tel +27 11 719-5710; Fax +27 11 440-5843

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