Saturday 10 May 2014

Drones to be deployed across Kenya to combat poaching

The Kenya Wildlife Service is to deploy drones in all 52 of the country’s national parks and reserves in an attempt to combat the poaching of elephants and rhinos. The announcement follows a successful pilot project at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, as reported in January in Wildlife Extra, in which the use of the unmanned, remotely controlled aircraft was found to reduce poaching by as much as 96 per cent.

Since 2012, Kenya has lost more than 435 elephants and around 400 rhinos to poachers, driven primarily by the demand for ivory and rhino horn in Asia. The drones provide 24-hour aerial surveillance monitor the landscape and movement of the animals using radio frequencies and have the ability to spot poachers before they have killed an animal. The £103 million project is being funded by Kenya along with the US, Netherlands, France and Canada.

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