Monitoring and surveys


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are becoming increasingly useful in ecological monitoring and research projects. As well as mapping vegetation in inaccessible areas, such as coastal or sensitive areas, UAVs can be used to monitor birds without the need to disturb the colony. As a bonus drones can give a beautiful and unique perspective of our natural world.

We have been using drones for many years, combining our knowledge of ecology with analytical techniques such as machine learning. We have licensed UAV pilots and often work with pre-prepared flight plans. Using special applications to collected and processed images automatically, we can work efficiently with large datasets.

Vegetation surveys

Our certified drone pilots have gained experience through a range of projects. Aerial images can be used to create 3D models from which terrain or vegetation heights can be derived. For example, we visualize vegetation types and heights of heathlands and we monitor the development of vegetation in marshy areas.

Colony counts

Drone images can be analyzed efficiently using image recognition techniques, where machine learning can be used to recognise objects in images using smart algorithms. For example, we can identify plants to species based on high-resolution drone imagery and count individual bird nests within colonies. We are now successfully implementing this technique for the monitoring of Sandwich terns, egrets, cormorants and spoonbills.