To comply with recent Supreme Court orders in the safest possible way, we are working with drone operators to trial technology to survey for nocturnal arboreal fauna, particularly gliders and owls.
Using drone technology to survey removes the need for dangerous night time foot-based surveying, which is a key consideration given that the safety of our staff and contractors is our highest priority.
We are engaging drone operators to conduct the necessary surveys. The drones operate a thermal camera to detect hotspots when flying over the forest canopy at night. When a hot spot is identified, the drone switches to a normal light video camera and uses a spotlight to zoom in to enable the species to be identified. The location of the fauna can then be recorded, along with images.
As the footage shows, drones allow VicForests to conduct safe, consistent, systematic and faster monitoring than boots-on-the-ground techniques that use spotlighting.
The new surveying method also enables our ecologists to verify detections and seek to have the data included in the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.
As well as these trials, we have conducted four nights of drone-based surveying across 10 sites in the Wombat State Forest.
Footage from trial being conducted in Marysville
KNOW MORE about vicforests
Taking care of Victorian native
forests is our life