News Update

Spectra Geospatial GNSS receiver aids in rehabilitation of Mara ecosystem

Oct 2020 | No Comment

The Mau Forest Complex in the Rift Valley in Kenya is the largest indigenous montane forest in East Africa. A hunter-gatherer community lives sustainably in the forest. However, encroachment and illegal allocation of the forest has left large parts cleared for settlement, agricultural use and logging.  This illegal activity has decimated more than a quarter of the forest complex over the last 45 years.  It has greatly impacted the Mara River and Mara ecosystem that is home to the spectacular annual Wildebeest migration, an 8th Wonder of the World. To assist in efforts to remove illegal settlers and settlements and to rehabilitate the forest complex, Survey of Kenya (SOK) demarcated the Mau Forest boundaries to precisely delineate forest cut lines and solve the problem of fuzzy boundaries that have contributed to human encroachment.

To more safely perform the survey in disputed lands and difficult hostile terrain, SOK relied on the Spectra Geospatial SP80 GNSS receiver.  The multi-constellation SP80 has the speed, accuracy, low-weight and ease-of-operation that enabled the SOK survey team to work quickly and reduce survey time in disputed areas.

The SP80 with its Z-Blade technology, which allows any combination of GNSS satellite signals to be used together, delivered strong and fast signal acquisition even in the hills and valleys of the dense forest.  Additional efficiency was achieved because the radio range of the SP80 often exceeded 4 kilometers. Combined with the easy-to-use interface of the MobileMapper 50 data collector and MobileMapper software, the SOK survey team was able to complete the work and swiftly exit dangerous areas.  On a very tight schedule during June and July, the SOK team staked and placed boundary beacons at 100-meter intervals over more than 30 kilometers.

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