Technology ANU and USYD researchers develop world’s first drone designed to track wildlife

ANU and USYD researchers develop world’s first drone designed to track wildlife

Researchers from Australian National University and the University of Sydney have teamed up to develop a new drone capable of radio-tracking rare and elusive Australian wildlife species.

The drone eliminates the need to trek after tagged animals with heavy radios over difficult terrain, and gives scientists a more comprehensive picture of their living environments. Debbie Saunders, the lead researcher on the project from the University of Sydney, said that this enables the team to better protect those elements of an environment most crucial to native animal survival.

The drone was developed over two years, with help from the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney. The entire thing weight less than a standard radio, and once launched, can make decisions on which animals to track first to maximise efficiency. In drone can reduce half a day’s work down to 20 minutes.

The first species tracked with this drone is the eastern bettong, a species which has been extinct on mainland Australia for 100 years, and was reintroduced at Mulligan’s flat in Canberra.

[img source] The Australian National University
The above story is based on materials provided by the Australian National University and the University of Sydney