URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — There’s a new tool to help protect lions across Africa, thanks to two people from the University of Illinois.
It’s called the Lion Localizer, a software that will be used to search for poachers. Graduate student Wesley Au and Professor Alfred Roca said they were working on a system for elephants when a group called Trace Wildlife Forensics Network contacted them. They wanted similar technology to track lion DNA.
They said it took them two years to build this software, and now they’re excited for companies to start using their creation.
“What the Lion Localizer does is it compares that [DNA] sequence to every other sequence, and it gives a listing and a map,” Roca said. “The listing is in order of similarity to the sequence that was entered. Then the map shows the locations within Africa, you know, the different countries and the different parts in Africa.”
He said right now, the database is going through testing before putting it into action.