The Struggles of Radio-Tracking Animals

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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! […]

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Wildlife Drones Goes Goanna Tracking

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“If we can just fly a drone overhead and collect GPS data without having to negotiate cliffy areas and Blackthorn scrub, it would save lots of time and energy and a few twisted ankles”. – Dr Don Fletcher In January, we had the opportunity to track Rosenberg’s Goannas in Namadgi National Park. It was a significant day for us as this was our first time tracking a ground-dwelling animal and the first time we had incorporated a GPS-download with our system. The goannas we were tracking were part of a project led by Dr Don Fletcher, a volunteer researcher from […]

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Putting Cows with Zebras – Can Integrating Livestock with Wildlife Work?

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With our recent move into our new offices within the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) we are particularly interested in exploring how our drone tracking technology originally developed for use with wildlife and invasive species can also be applied in different contexts, such as within the livestock industry. We believe there is a growing need to understand and better manage stock movements as the human population continues to rapidly expand and the demand for land devoted to the production of agriculture and livestock increases. However, is it possible to strike a happy medium between the needs of growing livestock demands […]

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Wildlife Drones Demos Across Australia

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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 […]

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3 Tips for Tracking Animals with Drones

Environmental Drones

Drones have enabled us to gain so many unique insights into the lives and habitats of various species, and now there is even greater scope to combine different sensors, such as thermal and multispectral cameras together with radio-tracking receivers for unprecedented fine scale data collection on individuals and their habitats. Radio-tracking animals with drones involves the use of the latest innovative technology, including a unique combination of hardware and software. Unlike most other drone applications using visual sensors to observe and study a range of wildlife species, our system enables drones to listen for radio tag signals.  That is, Wildlife […]

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From baby bears to migrating whales – the need to minimise the impact of drones on wildlife

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As an ecologist and a drone pilot I was horrified by the recent viral video clearly showing a distressed mother bear and her cub while attempting to escape from an invasive drone.  This irresponsible use of a drone created an incredibly dangerous situation on a snow cliff that resulted in the baby bear risking serious injury and death as it desperately tried to reach its mother. Unfortunately, as drones become an increasingly embedded part of our society and have an expanding range of capabilities and applications, such issues are becoming more prevalent within even the most remote and natural areas.  […]

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Out and About with Wildlife Drones: Laura in Japan

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Last month, our science communication intern, Laura, went on a trip to Japan to study geological hazards. Read on to hear about what she got up to…   In early September, I went to Japan for a Science Communication fieldtrip with the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute (AORI). The focus of the trip was to investigate impact of geological hazards on Japan and how these can be communicated to the broader community. Our first week was spent mostly travelling down the east coast of Japan where we learned about the impact of earthquakes and tsunamis. This included […]

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Proposed Changes to Australian Drone Laws

Drone regulations

CASA is seeking public feedback on planned changes to drone laws in Australia. While these reforms may increase the cost of drone usage for certain users, they aim to provide greater operational flexibility to experienced drone operators and improve safety for all remote pilot license (RePL) holders through test standards and regulation. Recreational drone users are largely unaffected by the proposed reforms, as new stronger and clearer laws covering recreational use were introduced late last year. The proposed Part 101 (unmanned aircraft and rockets) Manual of Standards 2018 (CD 1807US) includes: Aeronautical knowledge examination and practical competency standards for RePL […]

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Opening Doors to Wildlife Corridors

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Animal movement studies play a key role in understanding how different species interact with their environment. They are also instrumental for identifying key wildlife corridors that are in need protection. An example of this is a study conducted by researchers from Elephants Without Borders (EWB).  They tracked the movements of 120 elephants in southern Africa using satellite tags and were able to identify a network of wildlife corridors which expanded across several African countries. They were also able to identify narrow and fragmented corridors near villages and other human settlements. From these findings, the researchers stressed the importance of establishing […]

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