Leopard Land inspectors consider using quadcopters to patrol the area

Leopard Land inspectors consider using quadcopters to patrol the area

1 October 2014

At a meeting held in the village of Barabash to evaluate the work of inspectors at Leopard Land National Park over the past three months, Phoenix Fund employees held a demonstration of a small drone that can be used to patrol the area.


The inspectors, who are responsible for protecting the park’s Far Eastern leopard population, have held quarterly meetings in the Khasansky District for the past five years. Their work is evaluated under a special anti-poaching monitoring programme with the support of the Phoenix Fund and the Wildlife Conservation Society. GPS navigators are used to track the movement of inspectors, after which a map is made and their performance is analysed.


After outlining plans for the upcoming quarter at the meeting, the inspectors went to the village of Ovchinnikovo to observe a quadcopter in action. Despite the windy weather, the drone performed a stable flight and took pictures and video from a high altitude.


Yevgeny Stoma, Deputy Director for Security at Leopard Land, acknowledged the advantages of drones. For example, they can be used to monitor the situation when tigers and leopards approach people’s houses.


“Using this quadcopter, we can monitor the movement of the animals from a distance without putting inspectors’ lives at risk,” he said. “The drones can also conduct surveillance in the winter when the tree leaves don’t hinder the view, and on rivers to see where poachers place nets. The device is small enough to be carried in the trunk of a car.”