Rosenberg’s Goannas x National Parks Association ACT
The National Parks Association (NPA) of the ACT aims to better understand the elusive Rosenberg’s Goannas population in Namadgi National Park. These goannas are fitted with GPS and VHF radio-tags that enable their movements to be logged and radio-tracked by NPA volunteers.
But tracking these goannas on foot can be difficult. The mountainous landscape surrounding the goannas can also cause the radio signal from their transmitters to bounce, making it incredibly difficult to pinpoint which the goannas are located.
Wildlife Drones was first deployed in 2019 to assist in tracking these animals and was proven to be an effective tool for remotely downloading GPS data from their tags without physically to disturbing them.
More recently, Wildlife Drones was deployed to search for goannas that had moved from their typical home range and could not be detected from the ground. By launching the drone, we were able to rapidly search large areas that would’ve taken hours to cover on foot. The height we were able to gain with the drone also enabled us to minimise the signal bounce from the tags and accurately locate where the missing goanna was
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
Volunteer Ecologist, National Parks Association ACT