By Samuel Karanja
The national wildlife conservation agency plans to develop low-cost drones to help stop game slaughter.
Kenya Wildlife Service will develop unmanned aircraft controlled using tablets, which will be used to collect data on animals in the wild.
The data on the movement of animals will help to determine their safety and rangers will respond in case they are at the risk of a poacher’s bullet.
“In future, once given better grants, we will develop low-cost drones controlled by tablets, integrated specialised sensors and wildlife-tagging technology to monitor wildlife in several parts of East Africa,” KWS Director William Kibet Kiprono said on Friday.
The war on elephant and rhino slaughter is increasingly becoming techinology-based with South African National Parks, the country’s wildlife agency, turning to sky-borne thermal imaging technologies.
Mr Kiprono spoke during the launch of the fifth wave of Kenya Security Inter-Agency Working Group’s Rapid Results Initiative at KICC in Nairobi.
He said there was a need to change the way wildlife officers approach their work, adding it was possible to reduce wildlife poaching using the new incorporated strategies.
“It has become imperative that the service examine and evaluate the traditional and current wildlife management model systems and structures in view of adopting best practices and align them to global collaborative excellence,” he said.
He said in the next 100 days, the officers would be expected to change their way of doing business and maximise results notwithstanding the available human resource in the sector.
The director said the unit would anchor its RRI on addressing collaborative measures among the security agencies dealing with wildlife management and conservation with a view of implementing shared actions points.