Kenya has decided to let poachers have sleepless nights as there are plans to use drones to monitor movements of animals of the wild to help protect them from poachers.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director William Kiprono said the low-cost unmanned aircraft will be used to collect data on animals in the wild.
“The data on the movement of animals will help to determine their safety and rangers will respond in case they are at the risk from a poacher,” said Kiprono.
South Africa is currently using this platform and Kenya has decided that it will not be left behind; lately Kenya has been loosing many elephants, rhinos and other coveted ‘ivory’ game to poachers.
This comes days after the Canadian Government gave Kenya Sh160 million ($1858240) emergency funding to combat international wildlife trafficking.
According to the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who announced this at a London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, the money will build the capacity of KWS to combat international wildlife trafficking.
The fund will also help crack down on illicit networks involved in poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.
Ivory trade in Kenya was made illegal in the 1989, but continued demand for ivory has spurred on poachers and smugglers.
Demand is particularly high in some Asian countries where ivory is used to make ornaments and allegedly medicine.
New technologies, like use of drones to fight poaching at source will therefore cut down supply at the source and help save wildlife which is a lifeline for countries like Kenya.
In October 2013, the Kenyan Wildlife Service received the equipment from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to help insert microchips into rhino’s horns and bodies.
Each rhino in the project had one chip implanted in its body and a second embedded in its horn. Using special scanners, officials are now able to track the animals and help anti-poaching authorities link recovered or confiscated horns to poaching cases.
When a rhino is killed and the horn is hacked off and shipped away, if this horn is confiscated and the microchip tag identified, it can be tracked back to a poached animal thus prove of poaching.