Photos: Anti-Poaching Drones Take Flight

Drones to Fight Poaching

(Image credit: © Helge Denker/WWF Namibia)

Environmental officials in Namibia are working with the World Wildlife Fund to fly drones over the country's national parks to spot poachers and monitor threatened animals, like elephants and rhinos.

Bungee-Launched Falcon

(Image credit: © Falcon UAV launch – Helge Denker/WWF-Namibia)

A Falcon UAV unpiloted aircraft is bungee-launched in a demonstration in Namibia.


(Image credit: © Rachel Kramer/WWF-US)

The Falcon drone comes in for landing.

Infrared Giraffe

(Image credit: © Chris Miser/Falcon UAV)

Infrared video collected by a Falcon UAV unpiloted aircraft reveals access roads, patrol vehicles with warm engines and a warm bodied giraffe in pitch black.

Drone Operators

(Image credit: WWF)

Wardens with the Namibian Ministry of Environment & Tourism take turns operating the Falcon UAV during tests in 2013.

Black Rhino

(Image credit: © Rachel Kramer/WWF-US)

Black rhinos are critically endangered in Africa. Poachers hack off the animals' horns, which, in some black markets, sell for more than their weight in gold.

Megan Gannon
Live Science Contributor
Megan has been writing for Live Science and since 2012. Her interests range from archaeology to space exploration, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and art history from New York University. Megan spent two years as a reporter on the national desk at NewsCore. She has watched dinosaur auctions, witnessed rocket launches, licked ancient pottery sherds in Cyprus and flown in zero gravity. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.