It unfortunately won't come as a surprise to learn that the African elephant population is rapidly declining. Poachers have successfully eradicated nearly 64%of the elephants in Central Africa, and roughly 100,000 in total over the span of 3 years.
Elephants aren't the only ones being decimated either. The rhino population has seen just as much devastation due to the ever-growing illegal ivory trade that currently runs rampant throughout the continent. Thanks to drone technology, however, the poachers now face a predator of their own. Mathematical algorithms.
With this technology, African game reserves are now able to predict animal movements and then monitor illegal activity from the sky. Once poachers are spotted from the infrared cameras, they can then be surrounded by pre-positioned park rangers within minutes.
It sounds pretty impressive, but how effective is it at stopping poachers? Well, according to Tom Snitch at the University of Maryland, they found that in an area where 17-19 rhinos were being poached each month, that number had dropped to zero over a six month span. This is a resounding success by any measure.
There's no doubt that poachers will continue to do whatever it takes to kill off these majestic creatures in the name of profit, but it seems like for the first time in history they no longer have the upper hand. We'd love to know what you think about poachers and this new way of combatting them.