Drones Are Capable of Tracking Endangered Animals For Ecologists
Ecologists are looking to Australian-made drone technology to help in tracking endangered animals. The autonomous drones can reach areas easily and efficiently by marking the location of the animals without having to follow them.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Debbie Saunders has been focusing her studies on endangered animals as she has specifically studied their movements and migration patterns. About three years ago, she gathered a team together, which helped her to begin work on a drone sensor that could locate and track radio tags. As a result, animals are now tracked so that there is no need for people to walk into areas with the hope that they may find animals with tags on.
Trackers are able to get much higher by having drone-mounted sensors that make it possible for ecologists to search hundreds of acres within a couple of days and track as many as 40 animals at a time. When the drone has tracked an animal, the database stores the location and then continues searching for the next animal.
Once a prototype was built, it became quickly embraced by local people as well as scientists from around the world. Such world-wide acceptance made it possible for Saunders to start a new company called, “Wildlife Drones.” Government agencies are now using them, such as the Victorian Zoo, which tracks orange-bellied parrots and rare pangolins in Vietnam. In New South Wales and Australia, koala bears are being tracked and released back into the wild to monitor their movements and survival rate.
This Australian-made drone technology to help track endangered animals, should not only be good news to ecologists, but to all who love animals and who are concerned about the insidious erosion of endangered species around the world.