Drones Keep Wildlife Alive
Drones Keep Wildlife Alive based on what the Air Shepard program has been implementing. Poachers have always been a problem when it comes to protecting animals like rhinos and elephants in the national parks in Africa. Poachers want the animals for their tusks and horns, which can sell for thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the black market.
Now, those who are trying to protect these and other endangered species have new ways of protecting them – flying drones with cameras. The program is called Air Shepherd, and it is financed by the Lindbergh Foundation. The nonprofit group is trying to protect the animals and the environment through using new and innovative technologies.
This newest method of trying to protect the elephants and rhinos from poachers started because of the great loss of these beasts, with some estimating that more than 40,000 elephants, along with 1,200 rhinos died in a single year from poaching. There is fear that if this sort of thing keeps up, that the animals will go extinct in less than ten years.
Therefore, Air Shepherd decided to try the flying drones, which it has been using for two years. The drones have flown over 400 missions, logging more than a thousand hours. Due to its diligence, no rhino was killed in its patrol area, when in the past, nearly 20 were killed in that same area previously.
Here is a great video featuring what is going on with Drone Technology for Endangered Animals.
The drones from Air Shepherd are loaded with a GPS system and infrared camera. They fly after dark when the poachers usually are out trying to find the rhinos or elephants they hunt. The group has software that helps them predict where the poachers will be and sends the drones to go to those areas.
They get the data from information on past poaching incidents, as well as data on where the rhinos or elephants are usually traveling. Then, people on the ground are put into position based on all of these calculations. The drones fly over their designated areas, and if they detect a poacher, a drone flyer calls someone on the ground and they are able to stop the poacher.
The software for the drones was created by math experts in Maryland, USA. It is the same people who designed systems the military uses to find bombs, but the software technology was altered to protect the elephants and rhino area from poachers. The software creators say that the program can predict this and have an accuracy of 93 percent.
Air Shepherd reports that seven countries in Africa have asked about this new way of protecting endangered species from poachers. However, it is quite expensive and an Indiegogo Campaign to raise $500,000 is being attempted. If they get this amount, it would fund one drone for about a year, according to Air Shepherd.
The bottom line is that something needs to be done if the world is to save endangered animals like the rhinos and elephants from poachers, and this new drone idea is helping to do that in South Africa. Drones Keep Wildlife Alive based on what the Air Shepard program has been implementing is stopping poachers from taking away from us these majestic endangered animals.