Album: Human-Elephant Conflict – Drone Workshop and Training
Check out pictures from the recent Human-Elephant Conflict training workshop we conducted at Tarangire National Park in partnership with the Mara Elephant Project and Tanzania’s wildlife departments: Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), and Tanzania Wildlife Division (WD). The goal of the training was to assess the viability of small quadcopter Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs) as a method for mitigating human-elephant conflict (HEC). This conflict has been identified by wildlife managers as a timely threat to elephant conservation globally higher incidents of crop raiding lead to retaliatory killings of elephants and drive up poaching. The workshop was led by Marc Goss, who has trained several rangers with the Mara Elephant Project to fly similar UAV models, and was one of the first to begin using small UAVs to save elephants.
For more information on the project and trainings please contact Nathan Hahn at firstname.lastname@example.org
UAVs have show initial promise as a tool for wildlife managers to move elephants, and with HEC threatening elephant conservation, we wanted to see if they can be used to move elephants away from farms and communities, reducing conflict and creating safer conditions for managers in the field. We conducted field trials and training for ten rangers, game officers, and game scouts at Tarangire National Park, Tanzania from November 13-17, 2014. Using two models of the DJI Phantom UAVs, we trained wildlife managers in the use of UAVs as a tool to help them achieve their mission goals. The wildlife managers were trained as pilots, gaining familiarity with the aircraft, covering pre-flight, flight, and post-flight operations, and emphasizing safety. We practiced maneuvers and tactics that are useful for moving elephants in a safe manner, including ‘herding’ maneuvers and tactics, moving vehicle deployment, and chili-powder and strobe light deployment. The wildlife managers gained a solid base of flight skills, and an understanding of what it will take to become an effective UAV pilot when working with elephants, how to maintain the equipment, and how to humanely and safely use this tool to support their missions.