Drones Helping Rangers in Africa Stop Poachers

Drones being used to stop poachers in Africa

Photo via Dimension Data

Over the past several months, we’ve shared several stories articles about how drones are changing the landscape in many different industries. From making movies and surveying farmland to delivering mail and dropping off emergency supplies, drones are making a big impact in the world we live in. Now, these unmanned aerial vehicles are helping save animals’ lives.

According to a story at Gizmag.com, high-tech gear, including drones, Wi-Fi, and sensors are being used by rangers on African nature reserves to keep poachers out of these parks. Over the past couple of years, several projects launched across Africa have used drones for surveillance. Now, a new initiative, Connected Conservation, will use drones as part of “a more holistic technological solution.”

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Elephants and rhinos are commonly poached for their tusks.

The first stage of the initiative led to the installation of an area network along with Wi-Fi hotspots at strategic points to connect the rangers. If suspicious activity is identified, the rangers receive a notification on their tablets along with GPS coordinates and a live video feed “no matter where they are in the park.”

The technology also allows personnel to carry out background checks on all visitors using biometric scanning. Other parts of the network, including CCTV, infrared drones, vehicle-tracking sensors, and seismic sensors, and thermal imaging along the perimeter will also be used to gather data on those coming in and out of the park, according to the article. The information will then be analyzed in real-time and pooled together with other data on file to identify known suspects and alert rangers.

Two years ago, over 1,200 rhinos were killed by poachers in Africa, up from just 13 in 2007. Conservationists are hoping the network will help protect the endangered species and, if successful, can be expanded to other reserves in Africa.

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