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New technology helping govt curb wildlife crime

Kathmandu, December 7, 2016: Use of modern technology has helped the government successfully curb wildlife crime in last five years.

The government started using technology for wildlife conservation only after it joined hands with Crime Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police to control wildlife crime in 2011.

“Until the government joined hands with CIB, technology had not been used to control wildlife crime. However, CIB encouraged the government to embrace new technologies.

It brought to use mobile tracking system, which has helped the authorities nab notorious poachers,” said Madhav Khadka, manager at WWF Nepal.

The government jointly with CIB then nabbed scores of poachers, including those on the Interpol’s list and Nepal finally succeeded in celebrating ‘first zero poaching year’ in 2011.

Nepal has so far celebrated four zero poaching years.

After successful use of mobile tracking system, a successful test of two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (conservation drones), was carried out on 12 June 2012 in Chitwan National Park in Nepal’s Terai Arc Landscape.

That was introduced for the first time in Nepal by WWF Nepal with the support from WWF’s Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy.

The remote-controlled conservation drone was equipped with cameras and Global Positioning System to help capture images and video from hard-to-reach areas thereby serving as a remarkable conservation tool.

With a width of two metres, the drone flies at a maximum elevation of 200 meters. It can cover a distance of up to 25 kilometers within 45 minutes.

Similarly, the government launched real time SMART patrolling in 2013 with the help of WWF Nepal to patrol each and every part of national parks and conservation areas.

SMART patrolling gives real time data of wildlife sighting, timber harvesting and illegal human activities through android mobile.

CCTV cameras and SMART eyes are also being used to monitor wildlife activities.

“Through CCTV, national park authorities can get live status of the site whereas SMART eyes technology has been just launched in collaboration with Nepal police that sends snapped pictures to the server at certain intervals,” Khadka added.

Similarly, four sniffer dogs are being trained in Chitwan National Park.

If everything goes fine, Nepal is poised to double its tiger population by 2018, four years earlier than the targeted year 2022.

Photo Courtesy: WWF Nepal