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Thermal Drones Locating Elusive Koalas in Area Scorched by Bushfires

By ABC North Coast (Australia)

January 9, 2023

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Thermal drones are being used by ecologists searching for koala populations in New South Wales, Australia.

Drones used in a survey of the bushfire and flood-hit Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) over the past six months revealed a population of 32 koalas.

Imagery captured by the drones clearly shows koala movements in the forest’s trees and picks up the heat signature of their droppings.

Veterinarian Romane Cristescu said the traditional method of walking through the bush looking in trees for koalas and at the ground for their droppings misses up to 75%  of koalas, while drones allowed researchers to cover a much bigger area as they "fly quicker than we can walk. They don't care about the terrain, but also they are much more accurate than the human sight."

From ABC North Coast (Australia)
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