Presenter: Serge Wich, ConservationDrones.org & Liverpool John Moores University
Land-cover change and hunting are leading to major declines in tropical biodiversity. The fast changes occurring in the tropics place an urgent need on rapid and affordable techniques to monitor wildlife and its habitats. Recently the use of drones in conservation has increased markedly. Drones allow for the acquisition of very-high resolution imagery in a flexible low-cost system. A variety of sensors can be used to obtain images that can be used to determine the distribution and density of animals, allow for land-cover mapping and change detection, and can facilitate anti-poaching efforts. In this talk I will go over some recent examples of how drones have been applied to conservation. These will include the counting of orangutan and chimpanzee nests to determine their distribution and density, automatic detection of species using thermal infrared sensors, land-cover classification and change monitoring, and some thoughts on the future of technology and conservation.