Illegally logged trees to start calling for help

Illegal loggers beware: trees will soon be calling—literally—for backup. The Brazilian government has begun fixing trees with a wireless device known as Invisible Tracck, which will let trees “contact” authorities after being cut down and moved.

River and forest abuts vast soy field in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Here’s how it works: Brazilian authorities fix the Invisible Tracck onto a tree. An illegal logger cuts down the tree unaware that they are carrying a tracking device. Once Invisible Tracck comes within 20 miles of a cellular network it will ‘wake up’ and send a signal to the Brazilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA), who will track the tree in order to arrest the criminals.

Invisible Tracck was developed by Brazilian technology company Cargo Tracck. The device has a battery life of a year and is smaller than a deck of cards.

Authorities hopes Invisible Tracck will begun another powerful tool to deter illegal logging. From August 2011-July 2012, deforestation in the Amazon reached a record low in its near quarter century of monitoring. Still, even at a lower rate, the Amazon still lost an area larger than Rhode Island of forest in 12 months.

Article published by