By Pia Cunningham.
Hub member Wildlife Drones have had a very busy month!
Wildlife Drones is a tech company that has developed radio-tracking drone systems for locating animals on the move. This technology can be applied to pest management, and conservation. For example, they have been working with the Western Australia Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions on the restoration of Dirk Hartog Island1. This project aims to restore the island to its pre-settlement ecosystem. Wildlife Drones have been tracking Banded and Rufous ‘Mala’ Hare Wallabies, and Shark Bay Bandicoots on the island. With the new tech, researchers can radio track up to 40 animals simultaneously and cover ground like never before.
This tracking technology is world leading and is revolutionising wildlife and environmental monitoring. Therefore, it is no surprise they have been announced as a finalist in two categories of the Banksia Sustainability Awards2!
The Banksia Awards align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to create sustainable solutions for equitable communities3. Wildlife Drones are a finalist in both the Banksia Biodiversity Award for positive contributions to the protection and restoration of nature; and the Banksia Ignite Award for start-ups seeking investment to enable them to further grow their business and advance their innovative, sustainable technology4.
In other news, Wildlife Drones have just added to their tracking projects video playlist. These short videos describe the work they’re doing for specific animals, and how the technology helps. So far, you can watch Rosenberg’s Goannas, Pangolins, Kakapo, Orange Bellied Parrots, and Microbats. Next up, Koalas! These furry friends are one of Australia’s most iconic animals, but a tough few years due to bushfires, drought and habitat loss have led to a 26% decrease in population5.
Anyone who has tried to see koalas would know they are very tricky to find! Perched up in the canopy snoozing the day away, they camouflage well and stay out of sight. Wildlife Drones are here to fix that – they have started using thermal drone sensor technology to capture these cuties. Keep an eye out on Wildlife Drone’s YouTube to see what’s new6.
Finally, Wildlife Drones reached 1000 flights at the start of this month. Flights have helped clients across Australia and the United States track animal movement.
Congratulations Wildlife Drones! We look forward to many more flights.
CEAT Hub members: CEAT (2021) Hub Members, Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology. Available at: https://ceat.org.au/innovation-hub/hub-members/ (Accessed: 23 March 2022).
- Wildlife Drones (2021) ‘Dirk Hartog Island – monitoring endangered species’, Wildlife Drones, 1 April. Available at: https://wildlifedrones.net/dirk-hartog-island/ (Accessed: 23 March 2022)
- Wildlife Drones (2022) Innovative startup Wildlife Drones announced as Banksia Sustainability Awards finalist, PRLog. Available at: https://www.prlog.org/12909389-innovative-startup-wildlife-drones-announced-as-banksia-sustainability-awards-finalist.html (Accessed: 23 March 2022).
- Banksia Foundation (no date) ‘Banksia Awards Categories’, Banksia Foundation. Available at: https://banksiafdn.com/awards-categories/ (Accessed: 23 March 2022).
- Banksia Foundation (2021) ‘National Awards Finalists’, Banksia Foundation. Available at: https://banksiafdn.com/national-awards-finalists-2/ (Accessed: 23 March 2022).
- Wildlife Drones (2021) ‘Using thermal imaging drones to survey koala populations’, Wildlife Drones, 11 October. Available at: https://wildlifedrones.net/emm-consulting-thermal-koalas/ (Accessed: 23 March 2022).
- Wildlife Drones (no date) Wildlife Drones – YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/c/WildlifeDrones (Accessed: 23 March 2022).