MAR 27, 2016 2:54 PM PDT

Drones Could Significantly Improve Environmental Surveys of Wildlife

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
AUG 03, 2020
Technology
'Drawn-On" Skin Electronics
AUG 03, 2020
'Drawn-On" Skin Electronics
Engineers at the University of Houston developed a new form of "drawn-on-skin electronics” --a breakthro ...
AUG 23, 2020
Technology
Cyborg Technology Could Advance Diagnostics
AUG 23, 2020
Cyborg Technology Could Advance Diagnostics
Although it’s true, "cyborgs" are technically science fiction being the fact that they are part human an ...
OCT 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Merge AI and Photonics to Find New Earths
OCT 23, 2020
Astronomers Merge AI and Photonics to Find New Earths
Researchers from the University of Sydney have developed a new type of sensor capable of measuring and correcting starli ...
OCT 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Fishnet of Nanoparticles Traps Drug Molecules
OCT 10, 2020
Fishnet of Nanoparticles Traps Drug Molecules
‘Fishnet’ Nanoparticles Traps Drug Molecules A team at Northwestern University have casted a net of nanopart ...
NOV 20, 2020
Technology
'Motorized Sensors' for Disease Detection
NOV 20, 2020
'Motorized Sensors' for Disease Detection
What would likely increase the survival of a person with a deadly disease? Early detection—although depending on t ...
DEC 26, 2020
Technology
New AI System ID's Mosquitoes
DEC 26, 2020
New AI System ID's Mosquitoes
Identifying mosquitoes that transmit disease, such as malaria, is a critical public health effort. Learn more about mosq ...
Loading Comments...