Nepal launches drones to combat poachers

Jun 20, 2012
An Indian Rhinoceros takes its calf to water in the Maghauli Chitwan forest, southwest of Kathmandu. Conservationists in Nepal are to send drone aircraft into the skies in the battle to save the Himalayan nation's endangered tigers and rhinos from poachers.

Conservationists in Nepal are to send drone aircraft into the skies in the battle to save the Himalayan nation's endangered tigers and rhinos from poachers.

WWF Nepal said it had successfully tested two unmanned "conservation drones" earlier this month in Chitwan National Park, in Nepal's southern plains, the home of a number of the world's rarest animals.

The remote-controlled aircraft, being used for the first time in Nepal, would monitor the animals and via cameras and GPS to capture images and video, the organisation said in a statement earlier this week.

Thousands of tigers and greater one-horned rhinos, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, once roamed Nepal and northern India but their numbers plunged over the last century due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.

The aircraft, with a two-metre (6.5-foot) wing span and a range of 25 kilometres (15.5 miles), can stay in the air for 45 minutes, flying at an altitude of up to 200 metres.

"WWF Nepal has been introducing new science and technology to aid ongoing in Nepal. The conservation drones are the latest addition," said Anil Manandhar, the organisation's representative in Kathmandu.

"We believe that this technology will be instrumental in monitoring Nepal's flagship species and curbing ."

Thousands of tigers and greater one-horned rhinos, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, once roamed Nepal and but their numbers plunged over the last century due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.

are killed for their horns, which are prized for their reputed medicinal qualities in China and southeast Asia, while tiger skins, meat and bones are also in high demand.

Explore further: A European bear's point of view, finally on film

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nepal's rhino numbers 'recovering' after war

Apr 24, 2011

The number of rhinos living wild in Nepal has risen above 500 for the first time since a civil war that led to rampant poaching of the endangered animals, the government said Sunday.

Nepal expands critical tiger habitat

Oct 27, 2009

The Government of Nepal announced today an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.

Nepal uses satellites to track rare tiger

Jan 24, 2011

An injured wild tiger that strayed into a tourist resort in Nepal has been moved to a new home in the jungle and fitted with a satellite collar so its progress can be tracked, the government said.

Nepal orders probe into slaughter of rhinos

Jun 14, 2010

(AP) -- Nepal's government was investigating the poaching of rhinos in the Himalayan nation after 28 of the endangered animals were killed over the past 11 months, an official said Monday.

Recommended for you

Ranchers benefit from long-term grazing data

27 minutes ago

Scientists studying changes in the Earth's surface rely on 40 years of Landsat satellite imaging, but South Dakota ranchers making decisions about grazing their livestock can benefit from 70 years of data ...

Diverse gene pool critical for tigers' survival

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —New research by Stanford scholars shows that increasing genetic diversity among the 3,000 or so tigers left on the planet is the key to their survival as a species.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ranchers benefit from long-term grazing data

Scientists studying changes in the Earth's surface rely on 40 years of Landsat satellite imaging, but South Dakota ranchers making decisions about grazing their livestock can benefit from 70 years of data ...

Melting during cooling period

(Phys.org) —A University of Maine research team says stratification of the North Atlantic Ocean contributed to summer warming and glacial melting in Scotland during the period recognized for abrupt cooling ...