Drones to track poachers, forest fires around Bengaluru

Coronavirus lockdown: Drones to track poachers, forest fires around Bengaluru

The Bengaluru Urban Forest Division officials assisted by various voluntary organisations like the Drone Federation of India have been monitoring the forest areas in and around Bengaluru for the last few days.

Amidst the threat of poachers and encroachers intruding into forest areas during the nationwide lockdown against COVID-19, the Karnataka Forest Department has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to keep a check on unlawful activities inside forests besides keeping a tab on forest fire incidents.

The Bengaluru Urban Forest Division officials assisted by various voluntary organisations like the Drone Federation of India have been monitoring the forest areas in and around Bengaluru for the last few days. The tech assisted surveillance methodology has already been tested in forest areas around Bengaluru like Turahalli MF, Turahalli SF and BM Kaval under Kaggalipura Range and Kumbaranahalli, Bhutanahalli Forest under Anekal Range.

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A senior official of the Bengaluru Urban Forest division said, “The use of the advanced technology for surveillance will strengthen the traditional foot patrolling and monitoring by watchers and guards. The drones with high-resolution cameras capture any suspicious activities and pass on the information to field staff of the range.”

On the other hand, the use of drones has also helped the department overcome the shortage of manpower for patrolling and surveillance work during the COVID-19 lockdown. Technical staffers from Asteria Aerospace and Jane Aerospace are helping out the field staff in surveillance of the forest ranges.  

A few days ago, Kaggalipura Forest officials had arrested a poacher Thomas and recovered a telescopic rifle used to hunt animals. The others had escaped from the forest. Similarly, Bangalore Urban forest division officials had arrested three people near Sulikere while trying to lay snares to trap wild animals. A week ago, poachers had killed a spotted deer within the limits of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP).