Use of UAV drones to protect elephants
Research Review By:
Goss, Marc Mara Elephant Project, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya.
- Need to mitigate human–elephant conflict
- Utilization of drones
- Development of drones
- Deterrent to poaching
- Future outlook
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Starting in 2011, unmanned aerial vehicles (also termed uninhabited or uncrewed aerial vehicles; UAVs) have been utilized to interact with African elephants. At that time, a UAV [specifically, a small quartocopter (quadcopter) system], or drone as more commonly known, was used successfully to herd elephants, and the UAV was able to capture footage of the elephants being herded (Fig. 1). Since then, field tests have been carried out with a specific focus on mitigating human–elephant conflict (often abbreviated HEC). Human–elephant conflict happens when people come into contact with elephants and the interaction results in conflict. For example, human–elephant conflict occurs when elephants come into farms and destroy crops, or when people go into elephant areas, and the conflict can arise in all areas where land planning has not made a clear separation between people and elephants.
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