Ducks, Drones, and Data

Can drones really be an accurate way to survey animal populations? Researchers at the University of Adelaide recently set out to prove this. In their #EpicDuckChallenge, the team set up a colony of plastic ducks along an Adelaide beach. They then compared the accuracy of counting the ducks from the ground to counting the colony from photographs captured by the drone.

The use of drones proved far superior – with the data being ‘between 43% and 96% more accurate than ground counts.’ This shows us how visual drone imagery can be used to monitor animal populations. The question now stands, can drones be used to pack up all of those ducks?


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