Wildlife Drones is an Australian based company at the forefront of developing the world’s first radio animal-tracking system using drones.
With over 25 years of wildlife research experience, we have experienced the immense frustration when attempting to pinpoint animals using conventional forms of radio-tracking.
The main issue is height. When attempting to locate radio-tagged animals from the ground, you often have to get the antenna as high as possible in order to improve signal detection. This often means finding high ground, climbing on top of anything you can, or even hiring helicopters or planes to get the slightest “ping” of a distant radio tag. However this method is incredibly inefficient, labour intensive and even prohibitive within rugged or remote landscapes, often resulting in animals being completely lost all together!
But imagine if you could do an entire day’s hard labour in less than 1 hour, all while tracking hundreds of animals at the same time. With Wildlife Drones, you can!
Dr Debbie Saunders
Debbie Saunders is the Co-Founder and Director of Wildlife Drones. As a wildlife researcher she needed to find a better way to track small migratory birds that move in unpredictable ways across vast landscapes. Conventional manual methods of radio-tracking were very labour intensive, time consuming and expensive, which made tracking animals over large areas prohibitive. Determined to translate her idea into reality, she was instrumental in developing of the world’s first drone radio-tracking system, in collaboration with teams of engineers over 6 years. This led her to establishing Wildlife Drones, so that others wanting to track animals could also benefit from the latest technological drone tracking advances as well. At the end of the week, she loves nothing more than harvesting food from her much loved organic garden and heading out bush to go hiking and camping with her family.
Ros has a unique combination of Accounting and Zoology degrees, and was an undergraduate with Debbie at the University of NSW. When they reconnected several years later, Ros came on board to help establish Wildlife Drones to commercialise the idea of tracking radio-tagged animals with drones. She helped get the company up and running and overcome some of its early hurdles. Due to changes in her circumstances, she has stepped back from her role as Business Manager, but maintains a close interest in this exciting company that is going to revolutionise our understanding of animal behaviour.
Dr Gerard Borg:
Gerard is Wildlife Drones’ radio engineer and primary developer behind our radio-receiver payload. Gerard uses his expertise in radio-frequency engineering, including wireless communications and signal processing, to perfect Wildlife Drones’ technologies. He has spent countless, dedicated hours fine-tuning the design, and field testing the radio-receiver with Debbie to ensure it meets our customer’s needs, as well as repairing the occasional broken antenna.
Sarah became involved with Wildlife Drones through the ANU International Business Plan competition where her team developed the winning plan for the company. Since graduating from her commerce degree at the end of 2017, Sarah has continued to work for Wildlife Drones as a business intern in between her busy schedule. She performs market research, and aids in the development of company pitches and grant applications. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys a good book and swimming.
Daniel is an international business student at ANU with a strong interest in global trade. Like Sarah, Daniel became involved with Wildlife Drones through the ANU International Business Plan competition. Now in his final year of his undergraduate degree, Daniel works as an intern for Wildlife Drones performing market research and expanding the company’s customer pipeline. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar and hiking.
Laura works at Wildlife Drones as a science communication intern. Between finishing her studies at ANU and working with wedding dresses, she works on communication strategies, web-development, and content writing for the company. When she’s not on the move, she enjoys taking long walks with a good podcast (and her dog of course!).