In conjunction with aviation and wildlife authorities, Bathawk Recon, an anti-poaching service company in Tanzania, has conducted unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) trial flights to detect animal poaching or other unauthorized activity at parks.
The company used the DT-18 aircraft from Delair-Tech at Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania to view infrared images of the animals in order to count them. With the team’s repeated observations, they would be able to map out data and establish danger zones for the animals.
Other attendees of the trial included the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority, the African Wildlife Foundation, and Bathawk pilot and communication officer trainees. Kisamo Stephen, head of protection at the Tanzania National Parks Authority, says the “technology is going to be the key factor in curbing poaching.”
The DT-18 trials in Tarangire have been set up under the umbrella of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation’s initiative, in which the group is pressing to bring private-sector energy and capacity to bear on the poaching crisis. Bathawk Recon is the pilot project.