The Struggles of Radio-Tracking Animals

Since taking on my new role as Marketing and Communications Officer at Wildlife Drones, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to go out on project demos with the team. Out in the field, I get to film and photograph the day, and sometimes I even get to encounter the wildlife!

There’s something truly unique and unforgettable about being able to observe animals in their natural habitat. But I’ve quickly learned that finding them is no easy task.

I’ve been able to follow people who manually radio-track wildlife and let me tell you – it’s seriously hard work!

Radio-tracking is a bit like playing Marco Polo – except you’re out in the middle of nowhere trying to listen for the distant pings of a radio-tag. It’s really an exhausting game.

But in the instance that you do hear these pings, you’re faced with the incredibly difficult task of trekking through unforgiving terrain to follow the signals. As someone who has no formal background in animal research, I severely underestimated the lengths that people go to in order to locate tagged animals. Let’s just say that I was incredibly out of breath by the end of it!

Yet despite the numerous cuts and scratches sustained, the pain is quickly replaced by a huge sense of satisfaction when you finally set your eyes on the elusive animal you’ve been looking for.

From seeing manual radio-tracking in action, I’ve learned just how time-consuming and cumbersome the task truly is. However, experiencing these struggles has allowed me to understand the need to improve animal tracking and appreciate the solution we have developed.

With the time and labour saved in tracking, I can spend more time being able to film, photograph and observe animals that you probably wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else!

Laura and Deb
Laura and Debbie after a long day of tracking (Credit: Stuart Cohen, Bottlebrush Media)

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