Tanzania combats poaching with drones

Pilot scheme introduced in Tarangire National Park near Arusha.

The Tanzania goverment has sanctioned the use of drones in Tarangire National Park in an aerial surveillance battle against poachers who threaten the country's wildlife and safari sector.

Located in the northern Manyara region south of Arusha, Tarangire covers a 2,600-sqkm area, and is the country's sixth largest national park.

The six-month USE of drones in Tarangire follows successful trials last year in Mkomazi National Park near the Kenyan border.

The aerial surveillance scheme in Mkomazi yielded positive results, according to the ministry of natural resources and tourism, providing authorities with real-time information about raids by poachers.

However the use of non-authorised aircraft, including drones, has been banned over parks by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), the autonomous body in charge of the country's 16 wildlife reserves, since November 2014.

TANAPA objects to the ministry of natural resources and tourism renewed approval of the pilot scheme as it contravenes the authority's no-fly zone policy which it introduced, ironically, as a security measure to combat escalating poaching.