Study: Drones and Thermal Cameras Can Protect Endangered Marine Wildlife

Findings from a study conducted in New Zealand and the UK suggests that drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras could be used to locate and protect endangered Maui and Hector’s dolphins in New Zealand. The application could also be used for conservation measures for other marine mammal species around the world.

The successful study proved that aerial thermal detection and identification of Maui and Hector’s dolphins are both possible and relatively straightforward. Drones operated from fishing boats could detect (and help fishing crews avoid) marine mammals to reduce the risk of accidentally catching them.

Ocean Life Survey’s Martin Stanley developed and tested the thermal drone system in the UK and New Zealand, before deploying along the New Zealand Waitakere coastline for a trial survey.

“The results of our latest research open the way for the use of thermal imaging drones for improved marine mammal study and their direct protection. The thermal imaging

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