30 Mar '15, 4pm

How Drones Can Help Save Elephants and Rhinos from Poachers

Last year, 25,000 elephants were killed by poachers throughout the African continent. In South Africa, more than 1,200 rhinos were slayed, a record year . T he vast open expanses and dense undergrowth make it easy for illegal hunters to elude the authorities on the ground. Recently, though, conservationists have found a technology they believe could help them turn the tables on poachers: drones. Anti-poaching groups operating in South Africa have successfully flown drones capable of giving them an “eye in the sky” and allowing patrolling rangers to locate and catch wildlife poachers. But although such missions could potentially save hundreds of animals every week, the drones have been grounded. Early last year, the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) announced that flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with cameras, for commercial gain, was against the law. The...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/aerial-robots...

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