Drones - Not long ago, they were considered unearthly and far too complicated to actually work. But in recent years they have proved to be very practical and in many cases extremely valuable. From military use to disaster relief, drones have demonstrated their ability to be very versatile and even have helped to save lives. And now, they are being used to help save endangered species.

In a new project entitled Air Shepherds spearheaded by the Lindbergh Foundation, drones are being used to track poachers who kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. By using infrared cameras, drones are stealth enough to locate poachers during the night and then send their locations to park rangers. Both rhinos and elephants are considered endangered species in many parts of Africa and if nothing is done to help them, they could be extinct in less than 10 years. Air Shepherds aims to stop this. Drones have proved to be very cost effective and much easier to control than other tested methods such as airplanes.

John Peterson, chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation states, “It works. Flying in one area where as many as 19 rhinos were killed each month, there have been no deaths for six months. None at all.”

Read more on the Air Shepherds project here.