The Worldwide Fund for Nature in Zambia has launched drones surveillance in Zambia’s national parks to curb poaching.
The Drones for Conservation Project was launched on Friday by with a demonstration on the use of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Drones.
The event took place at the Lusaka National Park and was graced by Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda among other dignitaries from Government, the diplomatic community, private sector and the media.
SWUAT Technologies Ltd., the consultants for the project wowed the audience with live demonstrations on the practical applications of drones in wildlife management including but not limited to surveillance, vegetation mapping and wildlife surveys.
The second stage of the project will involve deployment of the UAV units across five national parks for an initial period during which the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and its partners will receive mentorship support from SWUAT Technologies Ltd.
Tourism and Arts minister Charles Banda said the drones would increase surveillance and curb poaching in national parks.
Mr Banda said during the launch of the programme in Lusaka that the government is concerned with the levels of poaching.
“The use of unmanned aerial vehicles -UAVs technology will help provide surveillance in places where the wildlife staff cannot go to and will help to preserve wild life,” Mr. Banda added.
Results of a three-year aerial survey of Africa’s elephants published in 2016 revealed a dramatic 30 per cent decline in savannah species populations, largely due to poaching.
Zambia has 20 national parks and 34 game management areas.