The Assam Government has decided to deploy aerial drones over Kaziranga National Park in a bid to protect the endangered one-horned rhinos from poachers, which is a home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhino population.
According to the latest census conducted in March, there were 2,329 rhinos in the reserved Park. The poachers have killed 16 rhinos this year as per BBC report. Rhino horns, believed to have great medicinal qualities, are smuggled into Chinese and Southeast Asian markets where they are in great demand.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will stop the poachers with both surveillance from air and on ground. The drones can fly a pre-programmed route at a maximum elevation of 200 meter (656ft) for up to 90 minutes. It will send images or video to the ground to help monitor movements of poachers and thus keep a track on rhinos.
The famous Kaziranga National Park lies partly in Golaghat district and partly in Nagaon district in the state. It is the oldest park in Assam and covers an area of 430 square kilometers along the River Brahmaputra in the north and the Karbi Anglong Hills in the south.
Kaziranga National Park was declared a national park in 1974 and a world heritage site in 1985.