Wildlife Drones Islands

Island conservation and protection

Galápagos tortoises, Komodo dragons, Darwin’s finches—these are just a few of the many animals that call islands home. According to the Institute of Zoology, islands support 15-20% of all mammal, bird, amphibian and plant species. In doing so, islands play an important role in preserving the unique genetic material of species that often aren’t found


Wildlife Drones field trip

5 things you need to pack for your field trip

Whether you’re a university student, conservation ecologist or marine biologist, field trips are often one of the most important and rewarding parts of a career in science. But apart from your research equipment, it can be difficult to know what to pack for your field trip—particularly if you’re just starting out.  Your university or employer


Wildlife Drones Island Conservation

Conservation partnership with Island Conservation

International nonprofit organization Island Conservation and Australian deep tech startup Wildlife Drones have announced a long-term partnership that will provide unprecedented capacity for large-scale wildlife telemetry operations in endangered species conservation. The collaboration will focus on islands across the Pacific Ocean, with ambitions to eventually expand implementation around the world. Background The rapid loss of biodiversity places ecosystems at


Wildlife Drones Forest

Forests and woodlands

From the snow-covered boreal forests of the far Northern Hemisphere to the dense tropical jungle of the Amazon, forests cover one-third of the Earth’s surface. Home to more than three-quarters of all life on land, they are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet.  However, forest landscapes are disappearing at an alarming rate.


Wildlife Drones Airwards Winner 2021

Wildlife Drones wins Airward

Wildlife Drones, an Australian startup delivering technology to conservation projects globally, has won this year’s Conservation and Environment Airwards for their collaboration with NGO Save Vietnam’s Wildlife to track and protect pangolins from poaching and extinction. Airwards recognises positive drone use cases from around the world and showcases innovations and the positive impacts of drones. 


Wildlife Drones and Gavin Smith

World-first tracking of snakes using drone radio-telemetry

In a world first, drones have been successfully used to radio-track the movements of Eastern Brown Snakes in Australia. This achievement comes as the result of a collaboration between the Australian National University, ACT Snake Removals and Wildlife Drones, an Australian technology start-up. Associate Professor Gavin Smith is the lead researcher of a project to


swift parrot perching in tree

The challenges of tracking migratory birds

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is all about celebrating the world’s wonderful migratory birds. To help raise awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, and the urgent need to conserve their habitats, we’re taking a look at two of Australia’s most prominent endangered migratory birds: the Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater.  We’re also stepping


Brown Bear with cubs

The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference 2022

The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals and supporters in North America. For more than 25 years, TWS has hosted this unique and informative event that provides dozens of networking opportunities through working groups, meetings and receptions as well as nearly 1,000 educational opportunities that encourage discussion and


Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture for wildlife conservation

As the global population continues to increase, so does our demand for food. Across the world nearly 40% of land is dedicated to agriculture. In addition to providing space to grow crops and raise livestock, this land is important habitat for endangered species, who seek refuge in remnant woodlands, native grasslands and farm dams and


indiana bat in flight

The Australasian Bat Society Conference

Wildlife Drones are proud sponsors of The Australasian Bat Society Conference and Annual General Meeting 2022. The event will be held virtually and in person. Event Details: When: Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 April 2022 Where: Online and at the Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane CBD Welcome Function: Sunday 10 April, an


Wildlife Drones Banksia Award

Wildlife Drones award finalist

Innovative drone sensor technology startup, Wildlife Drones, leading the way in sustainable wildlife and environmental monitoring Wildlife Drones has developed the world’s most advanced drone-based animal tracking technology, and has been selected as a finalist in two separate categories of the 33rd National Banksia Sustainability awards.  As a deep tech startup company, Wildlife Drones is


Poaching and illegal wildlife trade Pangolin

Poaching and the illegal wildlife trade

Each year, March 3 marks World Wildlife Day. It’s a day to celebrate the world’s wild plants and animals and raise awareness of the threats they face. This year’s theme is ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.’ In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this year’s aim is to raise awareness of the


Australasian bittern wetlands

Wetlands and endangered species

From large flocks of waterbirds to choruses of frogs, wetlands are home to a dazzling array of wildlife. As one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet, wetlands play a crucial role supporting mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians throughout their life cycles.  However, wetlands across the world are in decline. Between 1970 and


Wetlands areal image

Wetlands and invasive species

From the coastal mangroves and sawgrass marshes of the Everglades in southern Florida to the vast floodplains of Kakadu in northern Australia, wetlands are home to an astounding array of plant and animal species. Found on every continent except Antarctica, wetlands are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. However, like many


Wildlife Drones ANU News

ANU News

Drones used to track wildlife Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) and The University of Sydney have developed a world-first radio-tracking drone to locate radio-tagged wildlife. Lead researcher Dr Debbie Saunders from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society said the drones have successfully detected tiny radio transmitters weighing as little as one


Wildlife Drones Debbie Saunders ABC

ABC Drive with Anna Vidot

Innovative tracking: Canberra Wildlife Drones start up company secures $670,000 in Uniseed funding On Drive with Laura Tchilinguirian A Canberra invention could speed up collection times for scientists gathering data on some of Australia’s most endangered bird and animal species. The ACT start-up company, Wildlife Drones has just secured $670,000 dollars in Uniseed funding to


Overnights with Rod Quinn

ABC Overnights with Rod Quinn

Drones taking wildlife tracking to new heights On Overnights with Rod Quinn Wildlife drones are helping ecologists track animal movements in a completely new way. Dr Debbie Saunders, found and conservation ecologist, tells us more about this new technology. Duration: 15min 2sec Broadcast: Fri 18 Sep 2020, 2:00am Listen to the full episode here: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/overnights/wildlife-drones/12681012 If you


ANU researchers Debbie Saunders and Adrian Manning worked with the Australian Centre for Field Robotics to develop the tracking drone(Supplied: Stuart Hay, ANU)

ABC NEWS – World-first tracking drones

“World-first tracking drones developed by Australian National University researchers with help of bettongs – Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have developed a world-first radio tracking system that uses drones — with the help of Canberra’s bettong population. The system is a big step forward in scientific animal tracking and uses robotic drones that


swift parrot perching on branch with radio transmitter on back

ABC NEWS – tracking swift parrots in NSW

“Wildlife researcher Dr Debbbie Saunders in woodland near Tarcutta with swift parrots in the trees behind her, talking about the value of using drones to track the critically endangered swift parrot. The drone flies above the woodland and rapidly checks whether tagged birds are in that area. The video includes a lot of bird song


writing grant applications - image of hand with pen writing in book

Tips for acing your next grant application

Grant applications are a quintessential part of a wildlife researcher’s life. While they can be time-consuming and tedious to write, when successful – they are highly rewarding. There is no magic formula for grant applications. However, there are some golden rules that can help maximise your chances of success. To help you ace your next


drone flying over hills

The struggles of radio-tracking (and how drones can help)

For decades, radio telemetry has been the go-to method for anyone seeking to track and understand animal movements. But the effort involved, in proportion to the results accrued, has always been significant and costly. Despite this, radio-tracking wildlife is still commonly practiced. This is because the radio-transmitters are relatively inexpensive, and the tags can be


Department of Environment and Science first crocodile captured with a drone

What a catch! Tackling problem crocodiles with drones

Conservation isn’t always a black and white matter of saving species and maintaining their ecosystem at all costs. Often, it ends up being a matter of balancing the needs of both animals and humans, and finding a happy medium for sustainable coexistence. Dr Matt Brien understands that. Having poured a lifetime of research into crocodiles,


smiling man with spikey black hair

Drone pilot stories: My experience in learning how to fly

Since his days as an undergraduate student in Beijing, drones have captivated Han Liu’s imagination. The endless possibilities that have been unlocked by this one platform and the opportunity to push its boundaries even further was what motivated him to become a software engineer. As a part of Wildlife Drones’ team, Han has been integral


Jason Launching the Drone Location: Kayangel, Palau. Photo by Tommy Hall/Island Conservation

Protecting our islands with conservation technology

Scattered across our planet, Earth’s islands are discrete hotspots of biodiversity. While their isolated nature provides fertile grounds for biodiversity to thrive, islands can also leave native plants and wildlife vulnerable – particularly when invasive species enter the picture. Embracing innovative technology That’s why bodies such as Island Conservation work towards removing invasive species from


sheep mustering in outback New South Wales, Australia.

4 ways drones can help you on the farm

Agricultural technology is enabling farmers and producers to keep up with the demands of our growing world by helping automate centuries-old farming practices. This includes drones – who are proving their worth in this physically intensive industry.  Read on to find out how drones can help you on the farm… 1.   Weed and crop


the sperm drone in the air

Using drones to transport Kakapo sperm

As the world’s only nocturnal and flightless parrot, the critically endangered Kakapo is often referred to as a true avian oddity. But to the people who work tirelessly to save them from extinction, the Kakapo is more than just a novel bird. With roughly 200 kakapo left in the world, each individual is tagged and given a


will seiter and the copperhead team onboard their cessna 172 aircraft

Flying high in search of agile bats

“Oh, man – it’s essentially trying to find a needle in a haystack while on the bed of a semi-truck driving down the expressway!” – Will Seiter As a description of some of the challenges in trying to track the movements of tiny bats, Will Seiter’s metaphor is hard to beat. It’s heartfelt too, coming


thermal imaging drone ripper group

Deploying thermal imaging drones to help save wildlife

Jamie Holyoak has been using thermal imaging technology mounted on drones to search for hidden wildlife – particularly koalas – since 2013.  He has worked on behalf of a range of industries including environmental management, property development and mining, as well as working with Dreamworld’s wildlife conservation project. After the 2019/20 bushfires across Australia, however, his


a female drone pilot with her back to the camera holding a drone controller while a drone is up in the air

Advancing the Animal Tracking Game

That faint buzzing you can hear is the sound of endangered animals being saved from extinction. It’s the sound of invasive species being turned back from a damaging incursion. And it’s the sound of livestock being monitored across the farmlands of the future.  It’s the sound of one tool that has revolutionised the art of animal


debbie, tan and huyen from svw

Catching up with Save Vietnam’s Wildlife

At Wildlife Drones, we work with people from all around the world who have dedicated their careers to wildlife conservation. One such person is conservationist, Huyen Nguyen. Huyen is a field researcher at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife and has been using Wildlife Drones to track pangolins. To commemorate this year’s Threatened Species Day, we caught up with


Debbie Saunders and Josh Bobruk from Wildlife Drones tracking kakapo

Stories from the Field: Tracking Kakapo in New Zealand

By Dr Debbie Saunders Just weeks before Australia’s COVID-19 lockdown took effect, Wildlife Drones travelled to New Zealand’s Whenua Hou Island to trial tracking the critically endangered Kakapo. With just over 200 birds remaining, monitoring the health and wellbeing of each individual is essential to securing the species’ future. That is why the New Zealand


Debbie and the SVW pangolin drone team

Stories from the Field: Tracking Pangolins in Vietnam

In 2019, Wildlife Drones travelled to Vietnam to track the movements of critically endangered Sunda Pangolins. The Pangolin is one of the only 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


laura is holding a drone and debbie is holding the drone controller as they smile at the camera rosenbergs goannas project

Stories from the Field: Tracking Rosenberg’s Goannas

In January, Wildlife Drones trialed their radio-tracking drone system on Rosenberg’s Goannas in Namadgi National Park. It was a significant (and nerve-wracking) day for us. This was not only the first time we would be attempting to radio-track a ground-dwelling animal. But it also was the first time we had incorporated a GPS-download into our


brahman cattle in feedlot

Can integrating livestock with wildlife work?

We recently moved into our new office at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT). As a result, we’ve been interested in exploring different applications for our drone tracking technology. The human population is rapidly growing and with it is the demand for land devoted to agriculture and livestock. But with this rise in demand, land for


two green swift parrots sitting on a branch with more birds in the background

Wildlife Drones successfully track Swift Parrot flocks

By Dr Debbie Saunders In a previous post, I announced that Wildlife Drones was working with the Riverina Local Land Services to track swift parrots. As part of the project, we recently managed to find 60 swift parrots on Bush Heritage Australia’s Tarcutta Hills Reserve. This is the largest swift parrot flock ever recorded on


debbie and gerard from wildlife drones smiling with their arms outstretched in front of their office at CEAT

CEAT launches at ANU

Wildlife Drones joined members from the Australian National University (ANU), CSIRO and other ag-tech entrepreneurs to celebrate the launch of the new Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT). CEAT intends on supporting the research and development of technologies that will help advance the future of farming. Located in the heart of ANU’s science hub, it intends on facilitating


swift parrots in flight

Tracking Swift Parrots to save their habitat

By Dr Debbie Saunders As a wildlife researcher, I have dedicated much of my career to studying the critically endangered Swift Parrot. Since founding Wildlife Drones, I am glad that I can contribute to their conservation even further. This winter, Wildlife Drones is working with the Riverina Local Land Services to track swift parrots throughout