Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones will soon fly over India’s forests to monitor poaching, track wildlife and even count the population of tigers. Also Read - DJI Mavic Air 2 takes 48MP photos and records 4K at 60fps: Check price, flight time and other features
Scientists at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) are coming up with a series of such drones which are being customized indigenously to suit different types of forest landscape. “With this we will move on to the second generation technology for monitoring and surveillance of wildlife. They will be cost-effective and can reach areas where it is difficult for humans to enter,” WII’s wildlife scientist K Ramesh, in-charge of the project, told PTI from Dehradun. Also Read - DJI to launch new product on April 27; could it be the Mavic Air 2?
Under a joint collaboration with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and international environment body WWF, they are preparing a detailed project report for introducing drone monitoring in 10 wildlife-rich areas across the country. The primary objectives of these drones would be to track the movements of wildlife and monitor poaching. “They may also be used in counting the population of animals like tiger,” Ramesh said, adding that in many areas camera trap method for counting of tigers had not proved to be effective. Also Read - Facebook collaborating with Airbus to test solar-powered internet drones in Australia: Report
Shekhar Kumar Niraj, head of wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, said this would be a useful hi-tech tool in the hands of ill-equipped forest guards. “It can be particularly useful in monitoring poaching of lesser known species. But drone technology can only detect poaching and so it should be backed by on-ground staff monitoring,” he said.