Tag Archives: elephants

If I had a million drones…

A northern white rhino

From Wikipedia: One of four northern white rhinos translocated to Ol Pejeta now living in a semi-wild state.

While watching a PBS clip on elephant poaching and the rangers that try and protect them, I was really struck by the need/practicality of drones in that area. Here’s a perfect example of a situation that would HUGELY benefit from a fleet of drones: a massive area that is difficult to cover on vehicle/foot that could easily be monitored with a small fleet of unmanned drones. Obviously I’m not the first to think of this – the Ol Pejeta Conservancy not only thought of this, they launched a very successful Indiegogo campaign in 2013 to raise $35,000 towards an unmanned drone that would help them catch poachers. The perfect blend of cutting-edge technology in some of the wildest country in the world. Their campaign did great and raised almost $46,000 there and another $20,000 from other donation sites, allowing the purchase and deployment of the drone as well as numerous RFID tagging equipment.

So now poachers are being stopped and the rhinos are safe and everyone is impressed at this technology, right? Wrong, of course.

Kenya did a mass-ban of drones in the private sector. Because of course they did. They’re a “security threat.”

Yet another perfectly good solution brought down by paranoia and ignorance of technology.

30 Sep 2014