Drones are a way and means of integrating aerial technology with on-the-ground strategies that focus on the monitoring and protection of rhino.
Remotely controlled aircraft like drones are being used more frequently as aerial surveillance tools. High-spec drones are currently not affordable to most rhino reserves and current use is limited to personal drones as an aid in day time monitoring of rhino.
Cost-effective drones for mass deployment have yet to be developed but the technology exists for long range, long flight time, thermal capacity drones with the ability to relay information back to the ground teams to help coordinate a response. As systems are tested and technology comes down in price, we hope to be able to begin affordable drone placements on protected areas.
The ability to see from above at night will make a significant difference during these high-risk times. The quest is on to develop low cost portable aerial support with thermal capacity for less than $3,000 per drone.