Wildlife management with drones is one of the well-established drone missions, and Dronestitute Corp., a drone training and consulting firm based in Lafayette, Louisiana, explores the unique story of wildlife conservation with the help of Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 640T V2. They used thermal imaging drones to help ranchers with a challenging search and recovery mission to find a rare and expensive deer.
Wildlife management with drones is one of the well-established drone missions. For Example, Dronestitute Corp., a drone training and consulting firm based in Lafayette, Louisiana, explores the unique story of wildlife conservation with the help of Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 640T V2 drone. They used thermal imaging drones to help ranchers with a challenging search and recovery mission to find a rare and expensive deer.
Infrared Thermal Imaging Drone Finds Deer
When J Ranch II owner Jason Reed wanted to bring a rare and expensive deer he had recently purchased from Rattlesnake Point Ranch to his ranch, he asked photographer and Dronestitute CEO George Femmer to document the process. The team quickly realized that capturing and transporting the deer before it shed its antlers and was barely distinguishable from other deer in Rattlesnake Point Ranch was extremely difficult. During his first attempt at catching deer, George saw the advantages drone technology had to offer, was unsuccessful, and was asked to help track the deer using drone technology rather than filming.
The terrain on the ranch is steep and difficult for people to navigate, and dense trees and bushes limit visibility, and axis deer are known to be fast, strong and easily startled. With these specific challenges in mind, George believes drones are the best option to keep everyone safe and have the best chance of retrieving the deer.
By the time George arrived at the ranch for the second time using the Autel drone, J Ranch II's dart and search professionals had been working for seven hours but had failed to identify the deer from the herd. Within just 15 minutes of flying, he identified the correct deer using an EVO II 640T drone equipped with thermal imaging technology. Aside from initial flight tests, this is the first time he has flown an Autel drone.
Once the deer were identified, the team's next step was to wait until night to lure the deer into the sedative. Only one feeder remains active throughout the ranch to encourage target deer to feed next to the deer blind where the team waits. After waiting several hours, the target still hadn't appeared looking for food, so the 640T needed to be deployed again to find the target before they had to leave the ranch the next morning. On the second flight the next morning, it took George just 5 minutes to use the thermal imaging camera to re-identify the target deer from the many other deer in the ranch.
He informed the team that the deer was heading to the feeder and awaited confirmation that the deer had been successfully shot. Then, through a wide-angle camera, he notified the animal capture expert of the specific location of the downed animal. George is able to guide him to his goal in real time, plot the best path through difficult terrain, and make sure no predator can harm the deer if he goes down. Animal trapping experts find targets faster than any previous trap with George and the 640T, even in less challenging terrain. Finally, the deer was safely put into a trailer and returned to J Ranch II.
This real-world case study demonstrates the capabilities and effectiveness of Autel drones in wildlife management and highlights their potential to revolutionize the way we tackle similar challenges in the future.
Why Autel 640T Infrared Thermal Imaging Can Help Wildlife Recovery Efforts?
Thermal Identification Tracking
Many people's first instinct when thinking of a drone is to take pictures rather than track an object. However, the thermal drone Autel 640T brings new drone technology. The superior combination of thermal camera and wide-angle camera facilitates the search process, and in the wild environment, thermal power is particularly important for identifying targets. Despite the very challenging surroundings, the thermal camera was able to detect deer seamlessly.
At the same time, the high-resolution camera of the EVO II Dual 640T V2 drone can provide long-distance footage, and the Autel 640T drone can achieve 4x lossless zoom and 16x digital zoom, ensuring that it will not disturb the deer during operation. The clarity and detail captured by the cameras greatly helped the search team efficiently and safely track and retrieve the deer, and professional photographer George himself appreciated the drone's video quality throughout the work.
Enhanced situational awareness
With stable hovering and real-time streaming, Autel drones provide assistance to ground personnel through an easy-to-use remote control. This greatly enhances the team's situational awareness, enabling quick and informed decisions that speed up the entire operation while protecting the crew from any possible hazards.
Despite the challenging terrain, the EVO II Dual 640T V2's intuitive user interface and flight controls allowed the Dronestitute team to operate the drone easily and efficiently. Even as first-time users, they experience seamless control and navigation to ensure mission success.
The collaboration between the Dronestitute and Autel Robotics highlights the invaluable role of drones in wildlife management and search and recovery operations. The tremendous success in locating and recovering expensive deer demonstrates the transformative power of Autel drones in challenging and critical scenarios.