Education and public awareness both in Africa and in Asia, where the demand for ivory originates, is essential but this may be too slow a process to save the world's elephants and rhinos.
At a rhino reserve in Kenya, innovative drone technology is being tested to help rangers in the fight against poaching. These drones, which also operate after dark using night vision and thermal imaging, can be operated via laptop and act as an extra pair of eyes, helping to locate poachers within the reserve. More research is needed but initial trials have been positive.
7. Modified Horns and tusks
Another innovative idea is to modify horns and tusks in some way to deter poachers. At one reserve in South Africa, rhino horns are injected with a mixture of pink dye and poison. The dye can be detected by airport scanners and when ground into a powder, and the poison is not fatal but enough to make the consumer very ill. There are however mixed opinions on this approach. It is feared that although poachers may be deterred in areas where the scheme is highly publicized, it is impractical for animals free-ranging in very large areas; it may just displace poaching to another area. And logistically it would be impossible to apply this technique to a large number of animals.