Unmanned drone aircrafts are well known for their use for obtaining intelligence and other activities during wartime. Drones are now commonplace in war zones, however, drones may also begin being prevalent in another war: the war against poaching. Conservationists have decided to use the vehicles in order to survey national parks in hopes of reducing poaching.
Poaching has become a global issue and has organized crime, similar to illegal drug and arms smuggling. Advanced technology is now used to track and kill species, many of which are endangered. Helicopters, tranquilizers, automatic weapons and GPS are just a some of the arsenal major poachers are using to kill species such as rhinos, elephants, tigers and even other species such as turtles and snakes and so on.
Now Nepal is hoping that the use of unmanned drone aircraft will reduce the poaching in their country. Two drones will be used in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal in hopes of tracking and intercepting poachers prior to them being able to harm their targets. The use of drones is seen as a necessary tactic to reduce poaching in this highly technological age.
The main targets for poachers in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal are Indian rhinos and Bengal tigers. Both species are listed as endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There is estimated to be approximately 155 Bengal Tigers and 378 Indian rhinos remaining in Nepal. Thousands more once called Nepal home but poaching has contributed greatly to their decline alongside habitat destruction and human encroachment.
The World Wildlife Fund Nepal is providing the unmanned drones which can fly for forty-five minutes at a time. The drones are only 6.5 feet in width, including the wings, and can travel upwards of 15.5 miles. WWF Nepal and the Chitwan National Park are hopeful that the endeavor will prove useful and reduce poaching in the region.