Kenya drone ban hits anti-poaching efforts

Jun 05, 2014
Baraka, an extremely endangered Northern White Rhinoceros grazes at the Ol Pejeta reserve near the central Kenyan town of Nanyuki on December 20, 2009

One of Kenya's largest game reserves has been forced to halt plans to use drones to monitor its endangered rhinos because of a government ban, park officials said Wednesday.

Ol Pejeta conservancy, home to four of the world's last remaining seven northern white , said they had planned to launch the 'aerial ranger', equipped with a to track wildlife in real time, this month.

But Kenyan authorities have banned the private use of drones, deeming them to be a security threat.

"We have had these plans in the works for over a year now, and we were set for the launch," Elodie Sampere, the conservancy's spokeswoman, told AFP.

"One of the things that has now arisen is that the Kenya government has put a ban in place on private sector for the time being."

The Ol Pejeta conservancy, a 90,000-acre non-profit private wildlife sanctuary in central Kenya, has been seeking ways to fend off well-funded and highly-equipped poachers.

On the Asian black market, rhino horn is sought after as an ingredient in traditional medicine and can be more expensive than the equivalent weight in gold.

Last year, 50 rhinos were killed in Kenya by poachers.

The idea to launch a pilotless drone programme in Ol Pejeta was mooted a year ago and some $46,000 was raised via a crowd funding platform.

Explore further: Poachers slay six elephants in Kenya

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poachers slay six elephants in Kenya

Apr 26, 2014

Poachers have slain six elephants including four calves in a private reserve in Kenya, wildlife officials said Saturday, as the country battles an upsurge in the illegal slaughter of elephants and rhinos.

Kenya rhino-poaching doubled last year

Feb 27, 2014

Armed poachers slaughtered double the number of Kenyan rhinos in 2013 compared to the year before amid a surge in wildlife killings, government officials said Thursday.

Kenya insists fight against poachers not lost

Mar 25, 2014

Kenya insisted Tuesday that it has not lost the battle against poaching, resisting calls from wildlife activists for the ongoing slaughter of elephants and rhinos to be declared a national disaster.

Recommended for you

Fish catch break on world stage at global conference

11 hours ago

Inland fishing - the powerful yet quieter sister to the large, salty marine aquaculture powerhouse - has gained what experts say is a much-needed visibility boost this as the first partnership between Michigan ...

Monarch butterflies rebound in Mexico, numbers still low

12 hours ago

The number of Monarch butterflies that reached wintering grounds in Mexico has rebounded 69 percent from last year's lowest-on-record levels, but their numbers remain very low, according to the World Wildlife ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

bertibus
not rated yet Jun 05, 2014
What a surprise :/
Wonder who has the governmental connections to create and enforce the ban?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.