As poaching in Nepal continues to drive some of the world's most endangered species towards the brink of extinction, conservationists have begun experimenting with the latest in advances in drone technology in a push to protect them.
According to a report from The Telegraph, for the first time ever the World Wildlife Fund in Nepal will deploy a small fleet of unmanned aircraft to monitor the nation's sprawling southern plains. Decades of illegal hunting in the region has reduced the population of several protected species to dangerous levels, a sad reality more conventional conservation methods have proved incapable of abating.
But where on the ground poaching deterrents have failed, the experts are hopeful that the drones will succeed. From the WWF Nepal:
The remote-controlled Conservation Drone is equipped with cameras and GPS to help capture images and video from hard-to-reach areas in the landscape thereby serving as a remarkable conservation tool. It is two meters in width and flies at a maximum elevation of 200 meters. It can cover a distance of up to 25 kilometers within a duration of 45 minutes.
“WWF Nepal has been introducing new science and technology to aid ongoing conservation efforts in Nepal; the Conservation Drones are the latest addition,” says Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “We believe that this technology will be instrumental in monitoring Nepal’s flagship species and curbing illegal wildlife trade.”