The Crime Museum in Washington DC (which is sadly shortly going to close its doors) has hosted sell-out workshops this summer to show people how to make the kind of drones that protect wildlife from poachers in situ. They said:
In 2014 over 40,000 elephants and 1,200 rhinos were killed by poachers for their ivory horns and tusks, worth as much as $250,000 on the underground market. If this rate continues, both elephants and rhinos will be extinct within the next 10 years. In the past decade, 1,000 rangers have been killed in efforts to stop these illegal activities.
Conservationists and African officials are now turning to new techniques in their fight against poaching. One modern tactic is the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, better known as drones, to catch poachers in the act and protect endangered species such as rhinos, elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, and African leopards. These drones are used by rangers to not only track poachers, but to save injured animals as well.
- Learn the uses for drones
- Learn how to build your own drone
- Fly the drone you build
It sounds like a great workshop series and was clearly extremely popular. Its great degree of uptake demonstrates in a very clever way how museums can engage audiences in a meaningful way to increase awareness about the gravity of the illicit wildlife trade. This sort of activity should inform a deeper perspective that catalyzes responsible action. That, after all, is one of the great contributions of museums.