Wildlife and environmental conservation is a challenge wherever it occurs, but particularly so in tropical developing countries. With rapid deforestation, poaching and the distribution of agriculture and industry, the need is high. Yet funds are scarce, distances vast and terrain often difficult, if not impossible to negotiate by foot or car. Research by the University of Adelaide’s Professor Lian Pin Koh, however, is providing a solution.
For the past few years, Professor Koh, from the University’s Environment Institute, has been investigating the development and use of low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones”, for conservation-related applications. His work has not only proven the idea viable but, through his not-for-profit organisation ConservationDrones.org, is already making a significant difference to the effectiveness of conservation efforts worldwide.
Professor Koh has also established an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority accredited drone training facility at the University of Adelaide, where students gain hands on experience and graduate as certified drone pilots.
Read the story to find out more about Professor Koh’s research.