Conservationists Are Using Drones To Protect And Monitor What Endangered Animal?
Animal conservationists, led by Marc Goss, are using technology in new and novel ways to help protect the endangered elephant populations in Africa. In Kenya, they’ve been experimenting with using off-the-shelf drones, such as the AR Drone, to fulfill a variety of tasks.
Originally, they purchased the drones as a way to take aerial photographs and observe poachers, but they quickly found that the drones were effective elephant herding tools. The buzzing sound of the drones’ quad-rotors spooks elephants as it sounds like a swarm of bees. When elephant herds begin moving towards poaching hot spots, Goss and his team deploy drones to startle them and redirect their movement to safer areas.
The next phase of their plan is to modify drones to release capsaicin spray to deter them from entering dangerous areas.
Local park rangers are completely on board with the plan. In an interview with The Guardian, James Hardy, manager of the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya, explained: “Drones are basically the future of conservation; a drone can do what 50 park rangers can.”
While the elephants may not care for the sight and sound of the drones, we’re sure they appreciate any help they can get dodging poachers.
Image courtesy of miquitos.