Uganda Turns to Drones to Fight Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking

The country has 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, according to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). In April a team of 28 digital forensic experts started training to track online, illicit trade of wildlife and suspect communications. A 2020 report on illicit financial flows in Africa noted that Uganda loses between U.S.$7 billion and U.S.$23 billion per year because of illegal wildlife trade. 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.

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