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By Kelly Calagna, Managing Editor

If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Yes, yes it does—and thanks to the startup Rainforest Connection, we can also hear the chainsaw that is illegally cutting it down. 

infographic.450Rainforest Connection is taking recycled smart phones, powered by solar panels, and placing them high in trees throughout the rainforest to listen for illegal deforestation activity. These devices can detect the sound of a chainsaw up to one square mile away and send real-time alerts to authorities via a cloud.

According to the UN, the destruction of tropical rainforests is a leading cause of both climate change and species extinction. This new system allows immediate intervention, before it’s too late, saving innumerable trees and animals from what would previously have been a sure and silent demise. The devices have proven themselves in the forests of Sumatra, and now efforts are underway to spread the technology to three more reserves in Indonesia, the Amazon and Africa.

10834953145_102714f799_zLearn more at the Rainforest Connection website,  or click here to watch their video. If you wish to donate an old smart phone to become a rainforest guardian, you can mail it to Rainforest Connection, 77 Van Ness Ave, Suite 101-1717, San Francisco, CA, 94102.





IMAGE CREDIT: Rainforest Connection