Rhinoceros, an exotic animal species named as a combination of two Greek words, rhino (nose) and ceros (horn). But unfortunately, these two characteristics of rhinos have become its enemy as it has been poached extensively for its horns and thus putting its entire species in danger of extinction. Illegal killing of rhinos have reduced their count dangerously. Since the rangers are unable to find an effective solution against poaching, AidDrone international, an organization aimed at using versatile drone technologies towards humanitarian cause, has been planning to launch an anti-rhino poaching initiative in Africa to fight against poachers and save these beautiful species from getting extinct. For the same, they have started a crowdfunding campaign.
Poaching of rhinos has been carried out rapidly in Africa and Asia due to the high demand of its horns in black market. Rhino horns are used for ornamental, traditional and medicinal use in many countries, with Vietnam being the biggest market for rhino horns. “Drink of millionaire” or “party drug of choice” is the new craze among the Vietnamese “wealthy” crowd, using rhino horn powder to spice up their cocktails. It has given poachers one more, extremely profitable, reason to kill rhinos.
Moreover, their horns have been used for the traditional medicinal purposes in many Asian countries. The popular trend of using rhino horn as an ornament in some Chinese traditions and rapid increase in Chinese middle class population has enhanced its demand. Due to this, their prices may go as high as $65000/kg in black market. Result? A study from WWF states that the poaching rate has increased by a massive 9300% from 2007-14. Another study reveals that the rhino count was 500,000 at start of 20th century. Now it has reduced to mere 29000.
AirDrone international has now taken up the responsibility to fight against this inhumane act and save the rhinos. As reported, the organization aims at applying the drone technology to fight for the cause. Since the poachers act mainly at night and they can even kill, to get to their target, the rangers have found it really difficult to come up with any effective strategy against them.
Now, the organization plans to use unmanned aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to locate and transmit all the information about the poachers to the rangers so that they can capture them and secure the location before any poaching occurs. The main advantage of using UAVs is there electric, silent and almost invisible nature, so poachers can’t spot them. Further, they are loaded with infrared cameras which can get the thermal images of poachers and animals, even at night and the GPS can locate and send the whole information to the rangers.
As stated, the organization has earlier assisted Kenyan govt. in deploying drones in all their 52 national parks and reserves to monitor and stop the poaching of rhinos and elephants and gained huge success. They did a pilot project in a major protected wildlife area and experienced about 96% reduction in poaching with drone technology’s help. Confident about the effectiveness of drones to fight against poachers, Aid Drone International now aims at deploying the same technology in Africa to save the species which are at the verge of extinction. They have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for successfully deploying the drones in Africa and fight against poaching.
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Be a part of fight against poaching and save Rhinos.