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Thermal Drones Intensifying Surveillance and Protecting Tadoba Wildlife

Thermal Drones Intensifying Surveillance and Protecting Tadoba Wildlife

  • By JAGAT
  • Feb 15, 2024
  • Comments (1.5k)
tadoba wildlife

The oldest and largest national park in Maharashtra, the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, is home to at least 93 tigers, with over 200 tigers in the broader landscape. Renowned for its tiger safaris, the reserve features a dry deciduous tropical forest ecosystem, making it susceptible to forest fires. Recognizing the importance of environmental and wildlife protection, DP World, a global provider of smart end-to-end supply chain solutions, has extended support. In collaboration, thermal drones have been provided to enhance fire hazard detection within Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra. A comprehensive one-year training program for the forest field staff, coupled with onsite support on drone operations has been implemented. This initiative aims to empower rescue and rapid response teams and field staff in safeguarding the diverse and endangered species inhabiting the reserve.

As a participant in the industry task force led by 'United for Wildlife,' DP World actively addresses the issue of unlawful wildlife trade. This collaborative effort involves partnering with key stakeholders to combat the illegal trade of wildlife products. DP World has demonstrated its commitment by signing 11 wildlife pledges, including measures to halt the transportation and trade of illegal wildlife products.

Drone Features

1. DP World-sponsored drones, specifically the Mavic 3 Enterprise Series by DJI, feature cutting-edge technology. These drones are equipped with a thermal imaging camera, a mechanical shutter, a 56x zoom camera, and an RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) module, ensuring centimetre-level precision. This advanced functionality enhances mapping capabilities and mission efficiency during surveillance activities.

2. These drones will aid in gathering data from challenging terrains, measuring water body levels, and contributing to map creation, thereby improving the documentation of biodiversity.

3. Moreover, the thermal imaging features of the drones will empower the forest field staff in Tadoba National Park to identify early signs of ground fires. This enhancement in capabilities will improve rescue operations, and wildlife tracking, diminish forest offenses, and prioritize the safety of both forest field staff and the local community, as highlighted in a press release.

A step to well-planned precautionary measures

Kevin D'Souza, Vice President of Business Development at DP World Subcontinent, emphasized that the data gathered by drones can facilitate strategic and precautionary measures, directly contributing to the protection of forests and wildlife. He highlighted the potential of drones in safeguarding the lives of forest field staff and the local community.

Jitendra Ramgaokar, Field Director of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and Executive Director of TATR Conservation Foundation highlighted the challenges in monitoring the reserve, especially its fringe areas with human habitations, during nighttime. This difficulty poses issues in effectively managing conflicts between humans and animals and tracking animal movements.

The utilization of drone technology will enhance the capabilities of rescue and rapid response teams, as well as the overall field staff, enabling them to safeguard endangered species within the forest. This technological advancement will also aid in preventing unlawful activities in and around the forested areas.

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