Get to know our new drone pilot: Mitch Bannink

Drones

At Wildlife Drones, we are excited to announce that we have expanded both our team and the services that we can offer!  We now have a network of drone pilots across Australia who can provide services, including Mitch Bannick who is a CASA-certified drone pilot trainer with OVRL Photography.  Mitch brings a wealth of experience to our team, and we’re thrilled that we can now help more people gain the confidence and skills needed to take to the sky with drones. You could perhaps think that Mitch was ‘born to fly’.  As the son of an aircraft engineer, Mitch got the […]

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The removal of feral animals enables native wildlife to thrive

Threatened species

In December 2020, Dr Dave Algar was awarded the National Froggatt Award for his contributions in eliminating feral cats from Dirk Hartog Island (DHI) in Western Australia. He was also recognised for his efforts in leading his team to develop the aptly named ERADICAT bait – which is now widely used for feral cat control. At Wildlife Drones, we have been fortunate to witness the positive outcomes of Dr Algar’s work. Dirk Hartog Island was once overrun by feral cats, sheep and goats due to European settlement. As a result, 10 Australian native species disappeared from the Island’s fast-changing ecology. […]

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Catching up with Save Vietnam’s Wildlife

Threatened species

At Wildlife Drones, we’ve had the pleasure of working with researchers, conservationists and land managers from all around the world who have dedicated their careers to saving species from extinction. One of our most memorable experiences was assisting the team at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to radio-track the movements of critically endangered pangolins using our technology. So, to commemorate this year’s Threatened Species Day, we caught up with Huyen Nguyen, a field researcher from Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to see how they were going with their Pangolin conservation work. Before using Wildlife Drones, what was it like manually radio-tracking pangolins in the […]

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Bolivian Squirrel Monkey

Drones Can be an Ethical Way to Study Wildlife but the Law Needs to Catch Up

Drone regulations

As an ecologist who has studied endangered species for many years, I absolutely relate to Mark Dunsmuir’s feeling of privilege and responsibility when it comes to observing and studying wildlife.  It certainly is wonderful experience to observe, document and capture moments of natural wildlife behaviour. As a scientist, whenever I do formal wildlife research, I am required to go through extensive ethics approvals processes to evaluate the impact of my actions and identify every opportunity to minimise or avoid disturbance to both target and non-target animals. So it’s great to hear photographers also actively expressing the same interest in capturing […]

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What makes tracking animals so difficult? We hear what you had to say

Radio-tracking drones

Does the following scenario sound familiar to you?  After months of preparation, you’ve finally tagged and released your animals into the wild in the hope of learning more about this species. To monitor their movements, you painstakingly follow the radio-signals of each tagged animal every day. But as time passes and the animals continue to disperse, the faint “ping” of a radio-signal becomes harder and harder to detect. Frustrated, you conclude that you’ve lost your animals. So get more people out searching, you travel further and further afield and you even sometimes call in aircraft or helicopters to see if […]

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Kākāpō dreaming – A Wildlife Drones adventure tracking one of the most endangered species on the planet

Tracking Projects

It was 4:30am when we crawled out of bed. Finally, we had arrived in New Zealand on a mission to trial our drone radio-tracking technology for the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Kākāpō recovery program.  But before we could even reach the island where almost half of the Kākāpō population exists, we had to pass inspection at the quarantine station and squeeze all of our drone gear into a tiny Cessna –in the pouring rain. The light was slowly seeping through the fog when we took off over the grey coastline.  But our attention rapidly turned from the weather to the […]

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Positive Impacts of COVID-19 on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Threatened species

If you told me a few months ago that the world would have literally gone into lockdown because of a global pandemic – I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are. At Wildlife Drones we have been working from home for over the past two weeks. Like many other organisations around the world, this has quickly become our new norm. But for how long? Who knows. Discussions about COVID-19 have mostly focused on the negative implications that this will have to our healthcare system, economy and so on. But amidst all of this, there is a silver lining. […]

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A Fiery Summer in Australia and What this Means for our Wildlife

Uncategorized

Australia has experienced its worst bushfire season on record. It is estimated that 800 million animals have been lost in NSW alone – with the national toll now believed to have exceeded the one billion mark.  Fires have always played an integral role in shaping Australia’s unique landscape. As a result, much of our flora and fauna have evolved to cope with the positive and negative impacts that fires bring. But this season’s unprecedented ferocity and size is testing our ecosystem’s ability to survive and bounce back.  In the days just after a fire, surviving animals are at a much […]

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Tracking Pangolins in Vietnam

Radio-tracking drones

In a world first, Wildlife Drones have been working with Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) to track the movements of critically endangered Sunda Pangolins in Vietnam from the air. Often mistaken as reptiles, pangolins are actually one of the only known mammals to be covered in large, protective scales. While their scales serve to protect them from predators in the wild, they are also what makes them prized by poachers.  In fact, Pangolins are considered to be one of the world’s most trafficked mammals. In the fight against the illegal wildlife trade, our partners at SVW have worked tirelessly to rescue […]

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