Nepal to launch drones to combat poachers

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 10:00 hrs

-ANI): Conservationists in Nepal are to send drone aircraft into the skies in the battle to save the Himalayan nation's endangered tigers and rhinos from poachers.

World Wildlife Fund Nepal said it had successfully tested two unmanned "conservation drones" earlier this month in the Chitwan National Park in Nepal's southern plains, which is home to a number of the world's rarest animals.

The remote-controlled aircraft, being used for the first time in Nepal, would monitor the animals and poachers via cameras and GPS, the organization said in a statement earlier this week.

According to Wednesday's THT Online, the aircraft, with a two- meter wing span and a range of 25 km, can stay in the air for 45 minutes, flying at an altitude of up to 200 meters.

"WWF Nepal has been introducing new science and technology to aid ongoing conservation efforts in Nepal. The conservation drones are the latest addition," said Anil Manandhar, the organization's representative in Kathmandu.

"We believe that this technology will be instrumental in monitoring Nepal's flagship species and curbing illegal wildlife trade."

Thousands of tigers and greater one-horned rhinos, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, once roamed Nepal and northern India but their numbers plunged over the last century due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat. (Xinhua-ANI)

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