21 Jun 2012:
Drones to Be Used to Prevent
Poaching Of Endangered Species in Nepal
In Nepal, conservationists will soon begin launching low-cost, remote-controlled drones to prevent the poaching of endangered species
. Developed by the group WWF
, the technology is seen as an inexpensive
way to monitor the protection of species, including rhinos and tigers, which are being slaughtered even within national park boundaries. While the drones are still being refined, current models are light enough to be launched by hand and can travel programmed routes greater than 12 miles, collecting video and photographs from the ground below. “We hope these drones will be useful in detecting poachers as they enter the parks,” Serge Wich, a biologist at the University of Zurich who helped develop the project, told the BBC. “If they see poachers in the area, they can send out a team to catch them.” According to the BBC, the lightweight drones — which cost about $2,500 each — have been used to track poachers in Indonesia and could soon be deployed in other developing nations, including Tanzania and Malaysia.