Watching over the Turtles
In Oaxaca, Mexico, authorities are using drones to help protect the turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs, and to apprehend the poachers who steal the eggs.
The olive ridley sea turtle is an endangered species and activists claim that up to 80% of the eggs laid along a certain Mexican beach were being taken. The drones give Federal inspectors a live feed of the comings and goings of the animals and of their nesting spots. The ‘eye in the sky’ also gives them an advantageous view of the beach and terrain so that they can identify paths followed through hills and bush by unwelcome visitors, which would otherwise be hard to trace at ground level.
The drones are proving to be a greater deterrent for poachers than the fines that are levied for stealing the turtles and their eggs.
Federal inspectors also toyed with the idea of leaving disposable cameras on the beach in the hope of seeing the first turtle ‘selfie’.