WildTrack, a new wildlife conservation organization, is using software from SAS to help protect endangered species.

WildTrack has developed a footprint identification program that has been used as part of efforts to protect black rhinos in Zimbabwe and white rhinos in Namibia. Another project includes tracking a rhino subspecies in Cameroon and the Sumatran rhino in Borneo.

Now, SAS says, the group is using the software to track the lowland tapir in Argentina; the Bengal tiger in India and Bangladesh; and the Iberian lynx in Spain and Portugal.

Data from footprints is used to identify individual animals and determine the number in populations in a non-invasive manner.

WildTrack is working with Spanish authorities to distinguish the lynx footprints from other species as part of an effort to protect the final 150 animals left alive, the company said.

“Increasingly, governments and authorities require hard evidence of the existence of endangered animals before they will listen to guidance about protecting its habitat,” said Zoe Jewell, co-founder of WildTrack. “Moving forward, we hope to incorporate biometrics and other technology into our projects to help speed up the identification of

SAS has worked with WildTrack, which was known formerly as RhinoWatch, since 1998.

WildTrack: www.wildtrack.org

SAS: www.sas.com