Remote-controlled aircraft to mount surveillance via cameras, GPS
Conservationists in Nepal are to send drone aircraft into the skies to save the endangered tigers and rhinos from poachers.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Nepal said that it has 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 poachers via cameras and GPS to capture images and video. 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.
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. Rhinos 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.AFP