Researchers and conservationists require methods for monitoring behavior that affects animals and ecosystems in remote parts of the world or in countries where political conflicts prevent access to protected areas.

The Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), a non-profit international conservation group created in 1858, is dedicated to preserving biodiversity and wildlife, and ecosystems in nature reserves and exceptional natural places. FZS must show the presence of threatening activities to local police departments and protected area agencies in order for them to intervene.

Manuel Engelbauer, FZS’s South American program officer, argues, “We have to conserve nature’s pristine places.” “All of the challenges we’re attempting to address have one major purpose in common: to safeguard nature’s pristine places and biodiversity around the planet.”

However, monitoring protected-area activity – particularly unauthorized activities like a gold mine, logging, and poaching – has necessitated the use of expensive and time-consuming technologies like overflights as well as ground-truth surveying trips. At the same time, as the COVID-19 epidemic has an influence on government finances and contribution drives, nature conservation organizations are encountering economic and staffing issues, further reducing monitoring.

FZS switched to Planet when the demand for frequency which is at high resolution grew. Planet has three main advantages for FZS, according to Engelbauer:

The ease with which it can be used. There are no GIS experts to assist conservation teams in most of the protected sites that FZS supports. To teams, Engelbauer explains, “Planet is as simple to utilize as Google Maps.” “They can immediately see the area and make judgments about what to accomplish with that information.”

Data’s scope. To identify change over time, FZS depends on constantly updated data. “Many times, the groups would utilize images from free access sources,” Engelbauer explains, “but the crews never understood how outdated the data was, particularly images for remote places.” “We know the images on Planet are up to date.”

Data should be trusted. To promote action in protected areas, FZS conservationists must communicate trusted, verifiable, and timestamped data with local agencies as well as law enforcement. “Being able to say to an agency, ‘This was the scenario on the ground on this precise date,'” Engelbauer adds, “has helped us a lot.”


FZS can indicate “hot areas” that should be explored further, pinpoint potential illegal activities, and track changes over time using Planet’s network of SkySats.

“In comparison to the time and expenditure spent on overflights, we now have far more knowledge about protected regions thanks to our investments in Planet,” Engelbauer explains. “Information and time are our currency, and they are both extremely valuable to us.  We can demonstrate that action is required without causing irreversible damage to our protected places.”

Planet is a PBC (Public Benefit Corporation) that trades on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) under the symbol PL. As a portion of their fiduciary responsibility to their owners, Planet’s directors are required to stay faithful to their objective. “To speed humanity’s transition to a more viable, secure, and prosperous future through spotlighting environmental and social transformation,” Planet’s public benefit purpose states.

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