Drones are being used on Kangaroo Island, Australia by the Humane Society International (HSI) to help with the search and rescue efforts taking place for the wildlife injured in the recent bushfires that swept the country. The drones are equipped with infrared cameras, zoom lenses, and spotlights for finding the animals, no matter what the condition.

Drones used on Kangaroo Island for wildlife search and rescue

The Humane Society International has been working with drone pilot Douglas Thron to bring the world of drone technology to the front line of animal search and rescue.

Douglas told The Islander, the drones he is using are equipped with an infrared camera, a 180x zoom lens, and a spotlight to help distinguish animals in the wild. From this, its likely Douglas is using the DJI Matrice 200 drone equipped with the Zenmuse Z30 180x zoom camera and the Zenmuse XT/XT2 infrared camera.

Douglas also said the following on drones equipped with infrared cameras.

“I recommend infrared drones with spotlights become an essential part of the animal rescue tool kit. Uptake of this technology can shave off countless hours of searching on the ground. Time is precious for these animals as they frequently die before they can be reached.”

Drones have been used throughout the recovery process taking place from the recent bushfires that burnt much of eastern Australia. The Ripper Rescue Alliance, the company behind the Westpac Little Ripper drone has been completing search and rescue missions on mainland Australia for over a month now, saving injured and starving animals. Professor Joe Dong is looking at using drones as a system to detect early signs of bushfires utilizing various sensors to check for signs that suggest the conditions are perfect for a bushfire to start.

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Photo: Jordan Whitt


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