Tree Protectors


RAINFOREST GUARDIANS: These solar-powered listening devices are made from recycled smartphones.


Deep in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve, devices called Guardians listen to the rainforest. Their purpose is to detect the sounds of illegal logging.

Unlawfully cutting down trees is a major cause of deforestation. But it can be hard to catch loggers who operate in large, dense forests like Tambopata. Guardians help by continually recording and analyzing audio from the rainforest. If the devices detect the roar of chain saws, they automatically send an alert to local authorities.

“The Guardians provide us with data-driven evidence to build a case against illegal loggers,” says Mahreen Qazi, a spokesperson for the Rainforest Connection, a nonprofit that builds the devices.