As is the story throughout much of the protected parklands across Africa, endangered species in Tanzania are under serious threat from poaching. So following in the footsteps of other conservationists across the continent, Tanzania-based Bathawk Recon has field-tested surveillance drones to better protect the local wildlife, with results indicating these eyes in the sky can seriously bolster anti-poaching efforts in the country's nature reserves.
A team of scientists, led by the University of Washinton's Dr Chuck Murray, has successfully crowdfunded a project to sequence the genome of the black rhinoceros – a species that's been poached to near extinction. The effort is an important step in the conservation of the species, of which there are barely more than five thousand remaining.
When asked to name an endangered species, rhinos are probably one of the
first animals to come to most peoples' minds. In both Africa and Asia,
poaching is causing populations to plummet, due mainly to demand for
rhino horn as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine – whether or
not it actually has any medicinal value is another question
altogether. In any case, San Francisco-based biotech startup Pembient is
developing what it hopes could be a solution: inexpensive bioengineered
rhino horn, which could out-compete the genuine item.