Company has deployed its drones and drone pilots to count wildlife
Fahari Aviation, a subsidiary of Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways PLC, is participating in the Tsavo Ecosystem Wildlife Census that is taking place between 11th and 18th June 2021. This has entailed the deployment of Fahari Aviation’s drones and crew to pilot drones in the ongoing National Wildlife Census exercise that aims to establish a national baseline of wildlife populations and their distribution in Kenya. The census is being coordinated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the newly established Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) with financial support from the National Government.
Fahari Aviation aims to pilot the beneficial use of drones and unmanned aircraft in supporting vast ecosystems and wildlife conservation efforts. This includes their cost-effectiveness in operations while still achieving the desired results of data output.
“The use of drones and unmanned aircraft has proven feasible in many different fields of application. In addition, the Omni-purpose nature of these vehicles has provided opportunities to create an impact on various uses. Through Fahari Aviation, we aim to furnish new dimensions to the use of aerial counting and wildlife monitoring methods cost-effectively and efficiently,” Allan Kilavuka, Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Airways, said.
The national census will count terrestrial, fresh water and marine mammals, key birds (ostrich, kori bastards and other threatened birds), endangered primates (Tana Mangabey and Tana red colobus), threatened amphibians and reptiles (crocodiles) in the 47 counties. The specific terrestrial mammals to be counted will include elephant, rhino, giraffe, buffalo, lesser kudu, greater kudu, eland, common zebra, Grey’s zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, hirola, gerenuk, sitatunga, bongo, kongoni, impala, hippopotamus, and warthogs.
Brig. (Rtd) John Waweru, Kenya Wildlife Service Director-General, said: To facilitate sustainable conservation and management of our wildlife, monitoring populations is a significant prerequisite. This census will therefore provide information on the current status and distribution of wildlife. Further, it will aid in identifying threats to the vast but threatened wildlife populations and support the decision making process in the conservation and tourism sector. Through Fahari Aviation, we look forward to working with Kenya Airways and further the use of drones and unmanned aircraft in wildlife conservation efforts.”