In December, we had the fantastic opportunity to travel from one end of the country to the other to demonstrate our system to very enthusiastic crowds. First stop was in Hobart Tasmania where we were invited to present at a Drones for Wildlife Management workshop for the Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS) Conference. A few key things we noticed at this workshop included:
- A wide diversity of people from government departments, universities and the environmental consultant industry have already embraced the use of drones for a wide range of unique applications and are constantly coming up with new ideas on how this technology can be further adapted to meet their needs;
- Despite the traditional male dominance within the drone industry the majority of workshop participants were women who are already out there using drones in innovative ways;
- There was much excitement about the real time data visualisation capability of our drone tracking system where by hundreds of animals can be tracked simultaneously and real time while out in the field.
Then we headed west to Perth, Western Australia where we ran a demonstration day for the Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) at their Kensington office, followed by flight demonstrations at the wonderful WAMASC flight facilities. What we particularly loved about this workshop was meeting a wide diversity of people with an interest in adopting new technology, who also have extensive practical experience and intricate knowledge of the challenging ecosystems in which they work.
It was fascinating for us to hear new ideas on how our unique tracking system could be applied in different contexts, including the use of a combination of mounts on both drones and poles/towers to collect data across different landscapes.
To be able to finally meet people we have been in touch with for some time and to hear stories about the specific challenges they face when charged with the task of tracking small animals across difficult landscapes was also a real highlight. We look forward to heading back over to Western Australia later this year to support some threatened species reintroduction projects that are lined up.
Images courtesy of the Australasian Wildlife Management Society and Tracy Cousens (Gaia Resources)