The Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) says it is looking to deploy the French-made Delair Tech DT-18 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to carry out surveillance operations over key national reserves to protect critically endangered elephant and rhinos from poachers.
This follows successful test-flights of the DT-18 UAV over the Tarangire National Park last week by private Tanzanian company Bathawk Recon…Bathawk Recon is a private company which was set up to develop and deploy UAV surveillance systems for national parks and game reserves. Its representative Mike Chambers said the UAV had performed to their satisfaction in both day and night surveillance operations. He said the DT 18 can fly multiple day and night missions thanks to an infrared camera….
TheDT-18 trials were conducted under the auspices of the (Tanzanian) Private Sector Anti Poaching Initiative which seeks to bring the private sector to participate in war against poaching.The UAV systems will be operated by the Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) of the national parks authority. Tanzania is battling a serious rhino and elephant poaching crisis and the populations of both species have continued to decline in the last few years. The most affected are Selous Game Reserve, Tarangire National Park and Ruaha Game Reserve. Some 30 elephants are killed every day in Tanzania by poachers.
Excerpts from Oscar Nkala, Tanzania seeking to deploy DT-18 UAVs in anti-poaching war, DefenceWeb.com, Nov. 12, 2104