Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange

Drones help researchers survey small parrots

Cara J

Recommended Posts

For over 20 years, the movements of the critically endangered swift parrot (Lathamus discolor) have largely remained a mystery given the small size and highly variable annual movements of these migratory birds. “In the past, researchers have attempted to manually track swift parrots by attaching VHF radio transmitters to the birds, since GPS and satellite tags that provide data remotely are too large for this small migratory bird,” said Debbie Saunders, a conservation ecologist with Australia National University and founder of the company Wildlife Drones. “They then had to walk around for hours and days on end holding up a heavy antenna in the air in an attempt to pick up their signals.” Lightweight, flying robots can help track hard to track species such as the swift parrot. ©ANU Media But it was very time consuming and labor intensive to find even one swift parrot using this technique, she said, since the birds can move over large distances very quickly. Researchers were constantly searching for high ground to increase their chances of picking up a “ping” from a distant radio tag. “We needed to find a better way to efficiently find tagged animals across broad landscapes so that we could [...]

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...