Ars Electronica/Flickr

Conservación de punta

BONN – Un pequeño avión se prepara para aterrizar, pero no hay, aeropuerto, ni pista y ni siquiera tiene piloto. Se trata de un vehículo aéreo no tripulado que regresa de su misión, que no consiste en acabar con terroristas o espiar en países extranjeros, sino en observar las poblaciones de rinocerontes y localizar cazadores ilegales de tigres.

 Este drone no lleva turbinas Rolls Royce ni radar de apertura. En cambio, tiene un interfaz de Google Maps, cámaras y sensores infrarrojos sencillos. No cuesta más que una laptop normal.

Esas tecnologías baratas están cambiando la manera de realizar actividades de conservación. Para el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA), que administra la Convención sobre la conservación de las especies migratorias de animales silvestres, estas nuevas herramientas de conservación llegan justo a tiempo. Llenan vacíos en nuestro conocimiento sobre las migraciones de larga distancia de especies como tortugas, tiburones, elefantes y aves. Los datos recabados se utilizan para desarrollar estrategias de conservación a la medida para cada una de las distintas especies.

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