3 Tips for Tracking Animals with Drones

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Environmental Drones, Innovation, Radio-tracking 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 […]

Proposed Changes to Australian Drone Laws

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Drone regulations, Environmental Drones

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 […]

Wildlife Drones successfully track Swift Parrot flocks

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Environmental Drones, Radio-tracking drones, Threatened species

We’re super excited that we recently managed to find 60 swift parrots on Bush Heritage Australia’s Tarcutta Hills Reserve which is the largest flock ever recorded on the reserve.  We also managed to radio-tag and track these fascinating birds despite their habit of feeding on nectar in the tops of very tall trees, as reported on ABC news today. Over the past month our cutting edge technology has enabled us to track the movements of multiple birds at the same time within the grand old growth white box and mugga ironbark woodland.  Importantly our tracking has resulted in new foraging and roosting […]

Mapping Invasive Plant Species Using Drones

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones

Due to their isolation from mainland civilisation, tropical islands have grown to become rich in biodiversity. However, this isolation has made them particularly vulnerable to the ever-changing world we live in today. One major issue that these islands are facing is the presence of invasive plant species that are threatening the existence of native populations through competition for resources. Past attempts to map and monitor the presence of native and non-native vegetation on remote islands have been fraught with challenges. This is likely due to the high cost required to fly aircraft through these zones or to even generate high-quality […]

Searching for the Elusive Swift Parrot

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones, Radio-tracking drones, Threatened species

I love this time of the year, when the air is crisp and the buds on the winter flowering gum trees finally spring open and start dripping with nectar.  It also signals the start of the Swift Parrot winter migration season.  This is when the grassy woodlands and box ironbark forests of the Riverina region are at their very best, filled with honeyeaters galore that have travelled vast distances to feed on this energy rich nectar at a time when there is generally not much food around.  The forest canopy shakes with the movement of small birds flitting from tree […]

Wildlife Drones tracking small, endangered migratory birds

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones, Innovation, Radio-tracking drones

We’re excited to be joining forces with the Riverina Local Land Services again to shed new light on the movements of small, migratory Swift Parrots within their winter range.  The Swift Parrot is one of Australia’s priority bird species for conservation action and is listed as critically endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. A recovery program for this species has been running for many years providing important insights into the species’ breeding biology and winter habitat requirements, however almost nothing is known about the species’ dynamic movements. Part of the problem is Australia’s highly […]

Combining Drone and GPS Data for Improved Wildlife Conservation

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones, Radio-tracking drones

Drones are dramatically changing how we identify and resolve conservation issues in even the most remote areas.  A great example of the value of drones for assisting conservation efforts is highlighted by a study of proboscis monkeys in the forests of Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, as published by Stark and colleagues in Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. The study focused on monitoring human activity in these forests and how they impacted the movements of these cryptic monkeys. Proboscis monkeys typically occupy the riparian zone, which is the land that occurs alongside rivers and streams. […]

What’s New in Eco-Tech?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones, Radio-tracking drones

Earlier this month, Allan and colleagues published a paper in Ecosphere discussing the ground-breaking advancements happening in techno-ecology. Techno-ecology is the term used to describe technology that is being used to help study species and environments. In the midst of this century’s current technology boom, the field of ecology has and will continue to be transformed. It is anticipated that techno-ecology will revolutionise how we acquire data, as well as dramatically change the scale of data that can be collected. These new technologies fit into either one of the following categories: Supersize – the advancement of current technologies Step-change – […]

Take Flight with Wildlife Drones

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Environmental Drones, Radio-tracking drones, Uncategorized

Over the weekend, Debbie took to the skies with her drone and managed to capture some beautiful footage of the Canberra region. The rest of the team were so  impressed by the outcome of her weekend adventures, that our science communication intern, Laura, couldn’t resist but to compile our favourite clips into not one, but TWO videos to share with you all! As a result, we have started a YouTube channel and Instagram account so we can document our future drone flights and other Wildlife Drones news.