Uganda Deploys Drones to Fight Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking

By Jonathan Kamoga

Uganda is turning to technology to fight poachers and wildlife trafficking.

According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the country secured funding from the United Nations Development Programme to procure surveillance drones that will man parts of its protected areas, which are not routinely patrolled by rangers, and camera traps that will help identify poachers and intruders at porous entrances to game parks.

The country started training a team of 28 digital forensic experts in April, eight of them from the UWA, to track online, illicit trade of wildlife and suspect communications.

A 2020 report on illicit financial flows in Africa noted that Uganda loses between $7 billion and $23 billion per year because of illegal wildlife trade. Tourism is Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earner at about $1.6 billion annually.

Poaching incidents around the country went up in March last year when the country went into a total lockdown over Covid-19 although authorities are yet to tell the extent of the loss but say the incidents have since drastically reduced.

Source: The East African

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