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Kenyan Wildlife Officials to Use Drones in War on Poaching

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January 24, 2014

Kenyan Wildlife Officials to Use Drones in War on Poaching

By David Draper

Used to be drones were just something out of science-fiction movies, but these days it seems the unmanned flying devices are seemingly in the news everywhere, including the world of hunting. There have been stories of PETA enlisting its members to use them to harass hunters and a Colorado town that wants to issue hunting licenses allowing its residents to shoot drones from the sky. Finally, in terms of hunting, drones are getting some more positive press as a California company is looking to help Kenyan wildlife officials monitor their herd against illegal poaching activity.

From the Nature World News:
"In addition to our work developing the next-generation autopilot platform, we're working on a project that our team cares a lot about - building a drone for conservation," Airware CEO Jonathan Downey said in a statement.

In collaboration with the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya, Airwave has begun testing a drone surveillance system that it says will enable park rangers to monitor wildlife and be alerted to the presence of poachers. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. But even in a designated sanctuary, rhinos are not safe from poachers. In 2013 alone, 50 rhinos were killed within Ol Pejeta.

Airwave's "Aerial Ranger" project is designed specifically to observe, track and protect wildlife by delivering video and thermal imaging feeds to teams on the ground, Ol Pejeta Conservancy said in a statement.

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