Thermal drone cameras deployed to curb human-elephant conflict in Odisha

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KEONJHAR: In an initiative to curb human-animal conflict, the Odisha Forest Department has pressed into service thermal drone cameras in the Keonjhar forest division.

Talking to ANI, Dhanraj Dhamdhere, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), of the Keonjhar wildlife division said, “Drones with thermal cameras have proved very beneficial during the night as a third eye of the forest department.

The thermal cameras help us know their (elephant) location, movement, behaviour and what they are eating.”

The forest department is adopting technology-oriented solutions such as drones and thermal cameras to support the monitoring of the animals and alert villages if there is a chance of an encounter with humans.

Due to the use of drone technology conflicts between people and elephants in the forest have decreased. As a result, emergency measures can be taken inside the forest, such as controlling fires and catching poachers, Dr Samrat Gouda, Deputy Director of Simlipal Tiger Reserve told ANI.

As part of efforts for mitigation of human-elephant conflict, the forest department is working on a camera-based mechanism to alert forest staff and village residents, said Dhamdhere.

The forest department also said that the use of drones to monitor elephant movement has been happening for the last 5 months.

The biodiversity of Similipal Forest spreads over an area of 2750 sq km and Keonjhar 8303 sq km. (ANI)

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