World Turtle News, 09/13/2017
3D Technology A Huge Step Forward Towards A Solution For Growing Predation Issues
Psammobates geometricus is listed as a critically endangered species by the IUCN; as a result, conservationists have been racing to save this tortoise which is declining at an alarming rate. Now, a North American project is being applied towards this species in the hope that predation can be greatly reduced or even eliminated. Predators are a major threat to these diminutive chelonians. After US desert biologist Tim Shields developed Hardshell Labs in an effort to save the Desert Tortoise from raven predation, South African zoologist Professor Margaretha Hofmeyr decided to implement this solution towards the Geometric Tortoise. The project involves using 3D technology to create fake tortoises in order to deter various predators. The 3D models are to include pepper spray which is deployed upon contact. The models, developed by Autodesk and Think2Thing, were presented to Hofmeyr, who immediately gave the go-ahead to proceed with a new prototype. 3D technology is quickly becoming an ingenious method of conservation research, as well as medical and historical studies.
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Photo from Lameez Omarjee.