Rhino poaching is big business in Nepal, with hundreds killed every year for their valuable horns. The international demand for these animals is what is keeping the trade and the poachers going. To fight the problem, the country’s national parks have started using drone technology to stop the illegal trade. Al Jazeera’s Subina Shrestha reports from Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has helped develop this drone technology to help detect poachers that enter Nepal’s national parks to hunt endangered rhinos and tigers.
Developers of the pilotless aircraft—it’s already been used in Indonesia to track orangutans and other vulnerable species, and to track deforestation—say that the drones are cheap to buy and run and could help conservationists across the developing world.
Talks are underway to introduce them to Malaysia and Tanzania. Small-scale and remote-controlled, the drones are still being refined. They are light enough to be launched by hand and fly a preprogrammed route of up to 12 miles, filming the ground below with a stills or video camera.
Drones may also help with another serious problem facing endangered species: habitat destruction by monitoring changes to park boundaries and fight against encroachment.
Source: Animal Law Blog.