report that Google will provide $5 million to the World Wildlife Fund for developing aerial drones to help catch poachers in Asia and Africa. The Internet giant joins Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former NBA star Yao Ming, and countless wildlife organizations in the battle against illegal wildlife trade.
The Google grant will allow the WWF to create an integrated smart system that includes aerial drones, DNA tracking, and communications with law enforcement, making it easier to quickly identify and intercept criminal gangs that are in the process of hunting endangered animals.
The global wildlife trade black-market is estimated to be worth $10 billion, and largely driven by demand for animals used in traditional Chinese medicine and wild-meat restaurants in Asia. So far, wildlife traffickers have largely continued to outsmart and out-power law enforcement agencies from Southeast Asia to South Africa.