ptr: night vision drones to protect tigers at Panna Park | Bhopal News

Bhopal: Now a night vision drone will help monitor the movements of big cats in Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR). The PTR acquired a new night vision drone (thermal and IR) in its squad during the last week of December. The device will help strengthen the security of the reserve, known for its successful tiger relocation program after all of its tigers disappeared in 2008.
In August of last year, a “drone squad” was formed for the protection, monitoring and management of wildlife in the tiger reserve. The team consists of a ‘DJ1 Phantom drone with enough batteries to run for long hours, a dedicated vehicle and a drone operator with an assistant, park sources said.
“A monthly schedule has been established for the operation and use of the machine by the drone crew,” they said. Park Director Uttam Kumar Sharma said drone use in PTRs has been considered for law enforcement, surveillance, wildlife search and rescue, wildland firefighting and the fight against human-animal conflicts. Future use of the drone has been planned for ecotourism, monitoring invasive plant species, recreational and educational purposes, and documentation of biodiversity.
The night-time drone is another step in ensuring 24-hour watch in sensitive areas of the park, the park manager said, adding that more drones could be added for better management of the park’s wildlife. In fact, drone operations in Panna were delayed because on March 28, 2017, a team from the Wildlife Institute of India and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) successfully tested drone flights over Panna. Spread over an area of ​​542 km², the PTR is home to around 70 tigers as well as endangered vulture species. Of 9 species of vultures found in India, six are found in Panna Tiger Reserve, including the endangered white-backed vulture and long-billed vulture.

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