Protecting endangered animals
Poaching entails the illegal hunting, capturing or killing of non-domestic animals. Acts of poaching encompass failure to comply with the endangered species act, hunting without a license, hunting with illegal methods or hunting at illegal locations.
Counter poaching measures include patrolling national parks and habitats to protect the animals, discouraging poaching by removing horns preventively and tracking poachers. Since poaching is generally related to large habitats and parks, the close surveillance and monitoring of parks is difficult. Aerial surveillance with helicopters can improve protection measures substantially, however due to the high costs of helicopters, it is rarely a viable option.
An efficient solution to this problem is employing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to perform aerial surveillance. UAS can be equipped with cameras, thermal sensors and sniffers to detect poachers and hazardous gasses. The advantage of UAS is that they can cover large areas, yet cost only a fraction of helicopters, can be kept and carried on site and have a very low noise footprint which doesn’t disturb the animals or alert the poachers.