MAR 27, 2016 02:54 PM PDT

Drones Could Significantly Improve Environmental Surveys of Wildlife

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or more commonly known as drones, are becoming ever so popular in the modern era. A technology that was originally only available to the military or the wealthy is now becoming a common sight on commercial store shelves.
 
As a result of the widening availability of drones, and as the price on drones continues to drop, their myriads of uses are becoming clearer. Even scientists are finding uses for them throughout the Earthly environment.
 
In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, University of Adelaide researcher Jarrod Hodgson, and his colleagues, detail how drones can be incredibly useful for surveying different environments to keep track of wildlife populations.
 

Using drones to monitor animal populations may be the wave of the future.


Up in the air, drones give scientists a much more accurate view of large groups of animals than they would have surveying them from the ground. In the research, Hodgson and his colleagues surveyed the grounds of different kinds of sea birds, and consistently found higher numbers of them in UAV-based surveys than they did from ground-based surveys.
 
The evidence suggests that scientists looking to keep track of animal populations will have better and more accurate head counts with UAVs than they will trying to keep count from the ground with binoculars and a pair of human eyes.
 
“The increased count precision afforded by UAVs, along with their ability to survey hard-to-reach populations and places, will likely drive many wildlife monitoring projects that rely on population counts to transition from traditional methods to UAV technology,” the report notes.
 
What’s more is because drones hover high above the environments of these animals, their presence hardly disturbs the animals in their natural habitat like human interference would, and photographs that were captured by the drones were significantly crisper.
 
Although the initial experimentations show UAVs being useful for sighting the populations of sea birds, there’s no reason that the same head-counting methods couldn’t be used across desert plains, forests, and other environment types to keep an eye on different species.

Source: Nature

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 06, 2018
Videos
OCT 06, 2018
Explore a Human Cell with an Interactive Website
The Allen Institute is aiming to enhance our understanding of how human cells function....
OCT 09, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 09, 2018
Using Genetics to Predict Height, Bone Density, Educational Attainment
This tool might be used in the future to forecast many different traits....
OCT 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 10, 2018
OnSight Lets Scientists Study the Martian Surface with Virtual Reality
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been physically exploring the surface of Mars since 2012, but as it rolls along, it sends surface data back to scientists...
NOV 10, 2018
Technology
NOV 10, 2018
Creating Effective Wind Turbine Technologies
A rise in energy demands prompted scientists at Penn State Behrend and the University of Tabriz, Iran to create an algorithm for designing more efficient w...
DEC 03, 2018
Technology
DEC 03, 2018
Replicating 3D Objects Using Your Smartphone May Soon Be Possible
The production of realistic, real-world objects for the virtual environment is a complex and time-consuming process. Nevertheless, a team of investigators ...
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
NASA's Voyager 2 Probe Leaves the Heliosphere and Enters Interstellar Space
A nostalgic NASA issued a public statement on Monday to announce that its 41-year-old Voyager 2 spacecraft officially left the heliosphere and entered the ...
Loading Comments...