Project Description

Farmer-elephant coexistence: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for reducing elephant crop-raiding

This ongoing project in Tanzania has trained 20 wildlife managers in the piloting, field tactics, and maintenance of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to be used as part of their toolkit for responding to human-elephant conflict (HEC).

The field tests of UAVs by wildlife managers this past harvest season in northern Tanzania has provided evidence that the UAVs are highly effective at deterring elephants from crop raiding, work well within the standard operating procedures of the rangers, and are sufficiently tough to last several seasons.

Presently, after a year of testing, there is no evidence of elephant habituation to the UAVs, and no evidence that the animals circle back to the fields the same night after being moved by the UAVs making moving elephants out of high conflict areas easier and safer for rangers, farmers, and elephants IEF support will allow the acquisition of 6 new UAVs, extra batteries and to facilitate a training course for an additional 10 to 15 wildlife managers.