Drones / Feed

Used to pick up signals from tracking gear on the ground, collect images of wildlife and habitats from the air, gather acoustic data with specialized hydrophones, or even collect snot samples from whales' blowholes, drones are capable of collecting high-resolution data quickly, noninvasively, and at relatively low cost.


Exploring storage options for mass data collection

Hi all. I'm currently exploring options for data storage en masse. With our project we will be collecting 24hr hydrophone data, drone video 6hr per day, photography &...

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Hi Adam!

I mostly live within the ecoacoustics space so I'll just speak on the hydrophone part of your request; Arbimon is a free web/cloud-based platform with unlimited storage for audio files. We've got an uploader app as well for mass-uploading lots of files. There's also a bunch of spectrogram visualization/annotation tools and analysis workflows available. It's AWS running under the hood.

I have some experience working directly with AWS & Microsoft Azure, and I've found personally that AWS was more user-friendly and intuitive for the (fairly simplistic) kinds of tasks I've done.  

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Wildlife Conservation Drones & Technologies Summit 2023

Engage, learn from, and network with researchers, students, and other wildlife professionals from around the world that are using or interested in using drones to support wildlife conservation, management and research.

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Since most of the training will be in the field there's not much opportunity for streaming but I will look into options for some of the presentations.  Edit
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Computer Science student looking to work for wildlife

Hello everyone,I am a master student in Computer Science, with a specialization in AI and computer vision. I like to work with AI, computer vision, drones, sensors, autonomous...

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Great information! Thank you for sharing this. I actually have Masters in Zoology and have done some field work in Marine Conservation. Since then I have worked in Science education and eventually switched to Software Programming. My dream has always been to work in Conservation, however life happened and I had to give up on this pipe dream. I currently work as a Developer in a contractor role for the Federal Government. Would someone with my experience have an advantage in conservation Tech?

I think the real demand in conservation tech is for transdisciplianry individuals. If you look at all the stand-out people in this space they are people who occupy multiple domains that are traditionally isolated. These are people who talk fluently in computer science and ecology, for example. Not only this, they are also people who create and imagine in ways that intertwin ideas and concepts across these domains. Its these people, thinking in these ways, that lead to innovations that really move us forward. Some of these people started out where you are now, having crossed domains through their career and then seeing opportunities to bring these skills together in imaginative ways. 

I couldn't agree more with both of these comments tom! I'm reading hundreds (literally hundreds) of applications for open WILDLABS roles at the moment, and the ones that stand out are those where it's really clear they're following genuine curiosity across different disciplines. If you're in conservation, it's the evidence of interest in tech (courses, projects, things you're trying and learning yourself). For tech, it's getting into conservation - all the things you mentioned. 

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Community Manager [Remote]

We are a team of ecologists and technologists who believe good business must be good for nature. We’re building an economy that puts nature and business in balance by incentivising the restoration of nature at scale.

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Drones for GIS - Best Practice

I thought I would share our best pratice document we created as part of the Drones for GIS project we we are running at the RSPB. The aim of the document is to provide insight...

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We've just created a new version. General updates throughout


version notes


General refresh and update based on knowledge acquired over the last couple of years

Checked links

Updated CAA regulations, drone model advice including Yuneec, sensor advice (including thermal), classification advice, hydrological modelling advice, and nest survey info

This thread continues to be one of the most useful, evergreen resources - even 5+ years later! Who would have thought? 

I was speaking to a colleague from another conservation ngo last week - and it came out that she was having to start from scratch developing some consistent internal guidance to support staff members using drones. I've poiinted her here and it's already been super useful, but I'm curious if anyone has newer guidance they've developed to support drone use their organisation that they'd be able to share? If you've updated your guidance, what have you changed or found to be most important? 

Reinvigorating this thread might turn out to be super useful for lots of folk and save a lot of time in developing supporting documentation - I appreciate anyone who is able to share! 



Hi all,

I've been quickly developing in-house drone services in the UK for Providence Ecological and have found some useful information for building a workflow with Rich Charpentier's YouTube channel. There are loads of good resources on YouTube but Rich's channel seems to be more useful with regard to budget/free software etc. 

It has occurred to me that there may not be very good "Best Practice" guidance for drone pilots with regard to wildlife disturbance so when considering employing a drone pilot, please bear this in mind. It is useful to talk through their experience of avoiding/mitigating disturbance to wildlife during drone operations asnd provide guidance where you feel it is required. 

Hopefully this is helpful!

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Reasonable price for drone pilot (south africa)?

Hi everyone, A colleague is looking for a cost check on going rates for drone pilots in South Africa. Is £500-£700 a day reasonable? They'd be flying drones in a project to...

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Hi Steph

My partner is a drone pilot (wildlife specialist) based in France and has confirmed that your quote is what you should be expecting to pay a qualified pilot including the use of their gear - this will vary according to experience and equipment. He does not think that the prices will vary much country to country as the cost of equipment and qualification (professional) are fairly similar worldwide. It is also still a fairly niche profession and although there are many drone pilots out there, a professional licence is a whole other ball game so it’s not competitive enough to drive labour prices down.

If you have your own drone then you will be looking at the lower end of the quote as you should be covering the insurance and wear and tear the equipment will be subjected to during its use. If you are asking your pilot to bring and use their own equipment then the price will naturally increase depending on what you require to be used.

As Frank rightly surmised, the cost will reflect a host of behind the scenes factors that are part and parcel of being a freelancer in a specialist profession.

Hope this helps

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Call for Data: A Global Database of Tree Crown Footprints from RGB Imagery

Hello! I am putting together a benchmark dataset for tree crown segmentation - do you have data and would you like to join our effort?Call for data: we're...

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You should definitely talk with Ben Weinstein and co (the folks behind DeepForest), if you haven't already!

Bluesky have a commercial tree crown dataset available covering most of Great Britain (England, Wales and parts of Scotland). There is a canopy layer with approximate outlines of each canopy (the image on this page shows just circular crowns). It's created using aerial imagery.

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How daredevil drones find nearly extinct plants hiding in cliffs

Nice article about one of the Rainforest XPrize semifinalist teams - using drones to sample plant species. 'Nyberg and the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) team, working with the State of Hawaii's Division of Forestry and Wildlife, have rediscovered three species thought to be extinct or locally extinct from Kauai and uncovered larger populations of many other critically endangered species with populations smaller than 100 individuals.'


Open Source Photogrammetry Software

Hi All,I'm searching for an open sourced photogrammetry software to swap out Pix4D/Agisoft/DroneDeploy. I've seen mention of OpenDroneMap, but I've struggled with getting it...

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You might check out what's listed in the Directory - for example, DroneMapper, though this is paid (not sure if they'd give you any discount). The one I have heard most about is OpenDroneMap though. Or perhaps check out GeoNadir?  

Hi Lindy, ODM has a steep learning curve but is fantastic once you understand it. I have much better results than from commerical services, although we were just stitching fairly small (<10ha) areas.

Have a look at WebODM Lightning, this is a paid-for, but very cheap, processing service using ODM that is more similar to commercial services (upload your images, press go). You can upload using the web interface or a Windows app. 

Hi Lindy,

WebODM has now a native Windows installer version which costs around 147 $ once -

Is has almost all the advantages of the high priced softwares and even presets for some use cases.

Best regards!


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Interview for Technologies in Conservation

Dear Wildlabs community, my name is Nikolas and I am a Master's Student from Lisbon. Like many of you, I grew up with a great passion for the wildlife that we are surrounded...

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I'd be happy to chat with you if you wanted! My expertise is within passive acoustic monitoring particularly. The Conservation Tech Directory might be useful for you in identifying relevant actors within the space.

My original background is in ecology and conservation, and am now in the elected leadership of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware which convenes researchers developing open source tech for science. I am not working on a specific piece of technology right now, but am happy to contribute some higher-level views for your interview if that helps.

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Crowdfunding Aerial Baseline Study of Ghost Gear in Koh Phangan, Thailand

We are developing a project in Thailand, using drones to locate lost & discarded fishing gear across Koh Phangan, Thailand.
We're 86% there & only need $1500 to get us over the line. If you can help us, we would really appreciate it!
This project uses drones to create a baseline survey of lost fishing gear & document effects of entanglement on marine species.
We are working with Core Sea & Koh Phangan Sea Guardians to develop a locally led method for ongoing monitoring for discarded fishing gear, using drones.
Thank you, Sol, Tania & Kat


12 PhD Positions - WildDrone

The WildDrone team are looking for 12 PhD candidates to join the "WildDrone - Autonomous Drones for Nature Conservation Missions" Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network

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Picking up signal of GPS tag

Hi all! Has anyone been able to collect any ID information from a GPS tag, by circling above with a drone? Thinking about FAD detection at sea.Thanks!

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Thanks Carly! I've been in awe of what Wildlife Drones is doing, but as you say my work at the moment is focussed on existing GPS units rather than telemetry for tracking. I'll still reach out & ask though. Thanks for your help! :)

Hi Kim! Thanks for sharing, this is really interesting! I'll check out the website & see what I can find out about the mechanics of the device. Thanks again!

Hey Sol, 

The only way for you to collect information from a GPS tag attached to a FAD is if that tag transmits that data to the drone. Unfortunately most receiver packages are a bit too large for hobbyist-style drones (from what I've seen). 

Depending on the range/distance from shore, you might be able to have a shore-based receiver system?  

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Shark Lab Data Analyst

This position (at California State University, Long Beach) provides data management & analysis support to Shark Lab research operations including shark tagging, active tracking, receiver data, AUV & UAV data...

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Conservation Technology Intern (Vietnam) 

Meredith S. Palmer
*New closing date!* WILDLABS and Fauna & Flora International are seeking an early career conservationist for 12-month paid internship position to grow and support the Southeast Asia regional community in our global...

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