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尖端保护

波恩—一架小飞机要着陆了。但没有机场、没有跑到,也没有飞行员操纵它着陆。这是一个无人驾驶飞行器(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)正在从任务返回:不是猎杀恐怖分子或侦探外国领土,而是监控犀牛数量、跟踪老虎偷猎者。

这架无人机没有装备罗尔斯罗伊斯喷气发动机和孔径雷达;只是安装了谷歌地区界面、摄像头和红外线传感器。其价格比普通笔记本电脑还便宜。

这类廉价新科技正在改变保护的面貌;对负责管理迁徙野生动物物种保护公约(Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals)的联合国环境署(UNEP)来说,这些新保护工具可谓天降甘霖。它们填补了我们关于海龟、鲨鱼、大象和鸟类的物种长距离迁徙的知识空白。搜集到的数据随后被用于为不同物种定制保护战略。

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