Unique initiative to use state-of-the-art technology in wildlife conservation; Panna Tiger Reserve formed “Drone Squad”

Bhopal: Taking an initiative to use state-of-the-art technology in wildlife conservation, Panna Tiger Reserve has started operating “Drone Squad”. Monthly action plan for “Drone Squad” operations is prepared every month.

Drone squads are helping in the search and rescue of wildlife, locating the source of wildfires and providing immediate information about its impact, avoiding the risk of potential human-animal conflict and ensuring compliance with wildlife conservation laws. The “Drone Squad”, which became available in Panna Tiger Reserve a month and a half ago, is proving to be very useful.

What is “Drone Squad”?

Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) has recently constituted a ‘Drone Squad’ for conservation, monitoring and management of wildlife. It is working successfully.

The Drone Squad consists of a drone, model ‘DJ1 Phantom Drone’. It works with enough battery to operate it for a long time. A vehicle has been specially kept for this. A drone operator is accompanied by an assistant. A monthly schedule is issued by the Drone Squad with clear guidelines regarding the operation and use of drones.

Currently, the use of drones is envisaged for law enforcement, surveillance, search and rescue of wild animals, forest fire detection and protection and reducing human-animal conflict. In the future, the use of drones will also be planned in the field of wildlife management, eco-tourism. It will also help in documentation of biodiversity.

Drone squad has proven to be capable of assisting the field staff in efficient control and monitoring of illegal activities in a short span of time. Drone operations have the advantage of being able to collect large amounts of data that need to be stored, processed and analysed. This will prove to be a new initiative in creating trained manpower using state-of-the-art technology in wildlife conservation.