Ars Electronica/Flickr

Dierenbescherming anno 2014

BONN – Een klein vliegtuig nadert om te landen. Maar er is geen vliegveld, geen landingsbaan of zelfs maar een piloot om het naar beneden te begeleiden. Dit is een onbemand luchtvaartuig dat terugkomt van zijn missie: niet het jagen op terroristen of het bespioneren van verre landen, maar het monitoren van populaties neushoorns en het zoeken naar tijgerstropers.

Deze drone is niet uitgerust met Rolls Royce turbovliegtuigmotoren of radar; in plaats daarvan heeft hij een Google Map interface, camera’s en simpele infraroodsensoren. En hij is niet duurder dan de gemiddelde laptop.

Zulke goedkope nieuwe technologieën veranderen het gezicht van de natuurbescherming, en voor het United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), dat de Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals overziet, konden deze nieuwe manieren van conservatie niet snel genoeg komen. Ze vullen de gaten in onze kennis over migratie over lange afstanden door soorten als schildpadden, haaien, olifanten en vogels. De gegevens die worden verzameld worden vervolgens gebruikt om op maat gesneden beschermingsstrategieën voor deze verschillende soorten te ontwikkelen.

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