When Drones Protect Animals

Published on Monday, 18 January 2016

“Thanks to a total investment of 20,000 euros, a tracking and monitoring system for the felines will be developed, based on the use of drones.”

The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) offer an innovative contribution to the traditional method of radio signals inserted in the animals’ collars.

“Radio devices have provided valuable information so far on the territory and the routes taken by the felines, but the monitoring is extremely dependent on the territory’s orography and requires the daily supervision of an operator” stated José Fiscal, Regional Minister of Andalusia.

The drones will also enable the shadowing of routes the lynxes use to move, which are often crossed by roads, some with heavy traffic.

A species in danger

To save the Iberian lynx from extinction, Spain has put an extensive repopulation plan in place. The project we are participating in is a new contribution to support this initiative.

Today, the Iberian lynx populates the forests of the Sierra de Guadarrama, in the central areas of Spain, not far from Madrid.

“In 2002, the species had been reduced to 94 specimens, present in two small territories of Andalusia, but by the end of 2014, the number had increased to 327 units.”

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has lowered the threat level for the species from CR (critically endangered) to EN (endangered). But the alert level remains very high and the eye of the drone is responsible for watching over the future of the species from the sky.