A successful test of two wildlife conservation drones was conducted in Chitwan National Park in Nepal to determine whether or not the new technology is efficient in monitoring tigers, rhinos, and other endangered species.
The remote-controlled drone was developed by ecologist Lian Pin Koh of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and biologist Serge Wich of the University of Zurich. It is equipped with cameras and GPS equipment to capture images and video from areas in the landscape that are otherwise hard to see. It measures about two meters wide and can fly as high as 200 meters, covering 25 kilometers in 45 minutes. At $2,500, it’s also pretty affordable for the extensive work it can do.
After the test proved successful, there is talk of the drones being used to detect habitat destruction as well. There are negotiations in the works to use these drones in Tanzania and the Malaysian state of Sabah.
This is a great example of how new technology, originally designed for military purposes, can be used for a good cause.
Image courtesy of WWF: Serge Wich, one of the developers of the Drone, explaining the Drone’s features to the Minister of Forests and Soil Conservation, Yadu Bansa Jha.