The Guardian newspaper has reported the use of drones to assess koalas’ health after the rampant forest fires in Australia.
This is a great use of the technology: thermal imaging is used to find the koalas in the first place, reducing time taken meaning more time to find more koalas.
Then by hovering close by and beaming images to those nearby to assess the koalas in situ, only the koalas who are in need of treatment will be removed from their natural habitat. A drone can reach the koala’s location quicker than getting a cherry picker in place meaning faster assessments.
To remove a koala from a tree involves the use of a cherry picker, which means someone will be working at height, leaning out from the cherry picker and be at risk of falling. The drone reduces the number of times this needs to happen, reducing risk, cost and leading to more effective use of the cherry pickers.
Ultimately the health of the koalas, both those that stay in the trees and those rescued, benefits from this use. They are assessed faster, treated appropriately faster and this in turn means that more koalas will be seen in less time, which can only benefit the species.
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Feb 12th 2020