There was a study published recently in Oryx called Unmanned aerial vehicles mitigate human–elephant conflict on the borders of Tanzanian Parks: a case study that highlights the curriculum developed and pioneered by Mara Elephant Project’s CEO, board member, Trey Fehsenfeld, and rangers in 2012 using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) to mitigate human-elephant conflict. The study highlighted the effectiveness of drones on mitigating human-elephant conflict.
To reduce conflict between people and elephants there is a need for a holistic and adaptive approach that is supported by wildlife managers, engages communities and maintains sufficient space for elephants to thrive. Deploying unmanned aerial vehicles for human– elephant conflict mitigation has limitations, including equipment, training and running costs that may be challenging for wildlife management budgets. In addition, teams were not able to find and respond to all incidents and, in our study area, they depend on existing reporting networks between rangers and farmers. Nonetheless, our results suggest that drone-based methods offer a promising new tool to integrate within a broader suite of proactive, community-based, low-cost mitigation approaches to reduce negative interactions between people and elephants.
The study resulted in several articles that mention Mara Elephant Project and its use of drones as a tool in their human-elephant conflict toolkit.
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