30 Sep '14, 4am

Wildlife drones could revolutionize aerial surveys of animal populations [1 yr ago]

In open areas, like the African savannah, scientists often estimate wildlife populations through manned aerial surveys. However a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science argues that using small drones may be more cost-effective, safer, and capable of reaching more remote areas. Researchers tested the accuracy of drone counts in Bazinga Game Ranch (NGR) in Burkina Faso. Manned aerial surveys "are quite expensive for most African wildlife managers, and it is therefore difficult to plan long-term and regular surveys," the paper's authors write. "Consequently, in many African protected areas, the interval between two successive surveys can often be as great as 10 to 25 years. This makes it impossible to quantify accurately the change in wildlife populations. Consequently, some of them simply collapse between two surveys because no appropri...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0930-hance-tcs-drones-surve...

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