Elephant Survival Organization ESO TZ will be contracting Bathawk Recon to carry out UAV anti poaching surveillance services and supporting part of the load of protection areas. It will also be producing “content” (stills & videos) during it’s operations that will be developed, promoted and monetized by ESO to enhance its own efforts in accessing funds and performance in fighting poaching.

Bathawk Recon Ltd (BHR) is a Tanzanian registered limited liability company. It’s objectives are focused on providing anti-poaching services to Government and other entities that have anti-poaching responsibilities within Parks, Reserves, Wildlife Management Areas or hunting blocks. BHR intends to enter into contractual relations to “cover” defined areas with anti-poaching surveillance capabilities, acquire poaching targets within those areas and communicate with wildlife authorities in real time to define the best means to interdict the suspected poachers, this will bring Special Forces level expertise to the process of supporting rangers in these operations.

Anti-Poaching operations are based on deploying modular units called “Pods” into the bush. The Pod’s base camp will be carefully chosen to enable it to access all parts of the coverage area. A Pod consists of:

  • Super Bat DA-50 drone with TASE200 EO/Infra red gimbal.
  • Experienced Analysis and Liaison Officer (ALO) with the experience and planning capability to transform surveillance data into the intelligence required for interdiction operations.
  • Pilot & Communication Officers (PCOs) who maintain and fly aircraft connecting the incoming surveillance data to the ALO and wildlife authorities.
  • Ground Stations allow PCOs to control aircraft while other communications capabilities will connect the Pod to decision making and operational support capabilities.
  • Vehicles: The pod is equipped with vehicles to enable it to deploy aircraft from different locations within the coverage area and to make ground stations mobile when required.
  • Mobile camp equipment generator communications gear.
  • Drivers and camp support personnel to support and facilitate operations.

Pods will develop sortie planning to best cover the designated ground given the topography and varying degrees of poaching risk based on long term intelligence and surveillance activities.

UAV Anti-Poaching searches can be carried out day or night with the surveillance equipment to be deployed. UAVs will fly “intelligence based” flight patterns until suspicious activity is detected. Once ground activity is designated as suspicious, procedures will be activated to communicate with the relative wildlife authority. The communication protocols will formulate how operations move forward to:

  • Cancel the grid search and follow the section of suspicious parties.
  • Communicate with intelligence units of the Anti-Poaching service.
  • Prepare a plan and deploy logistics to support any planned operation.
  • Provide real time surveillance input to operations.
  • The Pod plan is modular and the number of pods may be increased to cover a sufficient area to effectively create a deterrent on a national scale.

For more information on BHR and its activities please visit the website

Proof of Concept

ESO is supporting BHR’s Proof of Concept operation in Katavi National Park. This six month operation will develop and formalize BHR operational protocols and its methods of interacting and coordinating with Rangers.

This support includes raising funds to pay for the service in a joint agreement with TANAPA and the Tanzanian Private Sector Foundation and working on explain the operational concept to Protection Authorities across Africa. A full description of the PoC can be found in the Bathawk website.