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Kaziranga National Park re-opens for tourists on Oct 21

Published on October 15, 2020 | News Source: Bijay Sankar Bora
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Hi-tech drones to boost surveillance in Kaziranga National Park

Published on September 9, 2020|News Source : Bijay Sankar Bora

Guwahati, September 9: Three advanced drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) customised with night-vision features will be deployed in Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to augment surveillance and track animal movement across inaccessible areas.

Previously, the national park known as abode of one-horned Indian rhinoceros, had just one drone which had a limited flying time and coverage area.

Kaziranga National Park (KNP) director, P. Sivakumar said the new set of high-tech drones would have thermal features to facilitate night surveillance, a feature which was missing in the drone which the park already had.

“Besides this, the advanced drones would have a flying time of 40 minutes and can cover for kilometres as against the 25 minutes flying time and 500 metres coverage area of the existing one,” Sivakumar said.

The official said that 20 members of the department, comprising officials and staff of KNP and other wildlife divisions are being groomed on both the theoretical and practical aspects (including field demonstrations) of operating the advanced UAVs.

He further said that during winter, there was a common problem of animals straying out of the park to other areas.

“So surveillance of animal movement, particularly in the Brahmaputra river areas was very difficult apart from effectively carrying out anti-poaching measures,” the KNP director said.

The new set of sophisticated UAVs will not only add extra teeth to monitoring movement of animals, but they will also come in very handy as Kaziranga now has additional area of 30.53 square km, a move that would boost wildlife conservation and minimise human-animal conflict in and around the heritage site.

He,however, said the formal allotment of drones was awaited from the head office.

“Also, the objective of having more areas is to connect KNP with corridors and other neighbouring habitats to ensure animals of the park have good access to other habitats," he added.

Assam forests and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya today said that the state forests and environment department was “moving towards the path of extensive use of technology for improved vigilance, real-time monitoring and better protection of our precious assets.”

Also read: Assam increases Kaziranga Park area by 30.53

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