Special Issue "Drone Technology for Wildlife and Human Management"

A special issue of Drones (ISSN 2504-446X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paul Butcher
Website
Guest Editor
NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW Fisheries, Coffs Harbour, 2450, Australia
Interests: drone; human management; wildlife management
Mr. Andrew Colefax
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Sci-eye, PO Box 4202, Goonellabah NSW 2480, Australia
Interests: human-wildlife conflict; animal behavior; drones; wildlife tracking

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are now an affordable and technologically adept tool for wildlife and human management. The capacity of these vehicles and their associated sensors makes them the ultimate tool to obtain data to answer questions that have previously been unreachable via traditional methods of data collection. This technology is advancing quickly, with drones now being regularly used as a tool to collect additional temporal and spatial data to feed into existing (and new) scientific and management programs. To make full use of that increased knowledge, these additional data sources need to be disseminated to the community so that managers, scientists and other end users can benefit from such knowledge.

This Special Issue aims at showcasing the range of projects where drones have been used for wildlife and human management. This Special Edition will welcome manuscripts in the fields of:

  • Drones for monitoring or understanding terrestrial and aquatic wildlife;
  • Drones for human management;
  • Drones to minimise human/wildlife conflict;
  • Drones to monitor threatened, endangered or protected species.

We look forward to your submission.

Dr. Paul Butcher
Mr. Andrew Colefax
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Drones is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • beach safety
  • drone
  • human management
  • unmanned aerial vehicle
  • wildlife management

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Sharkeye: Real-Time Autonomous Personal Shark Alerting via Aerial Surveillance
Drones 2020, 4(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4020018 - 04 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
While aerial shark spotting has been a standard practice for beach safety for decades, new technologies offer enhanced opportunities, ranging from drones/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that provide new viewing capabilities, to new apps that provide beachgoers with up-to-date risk analysis before entering the [...] Read more.
While aerial shark spotting has been a standard practice for beach safety for decades, new technologies offer enhanced opportunities, ranging from drones/unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that provide new viewing capabilities, to new apps that provide beachgoers with up-to-date risk analysis before entering the water. This report describes the Sharkeye platform, a first-of-its-kind project to demonstrate personal shark alerting for beachgoers in the water and on land, leveraging innovative UAV image collection, cloud-hosted machine learning detection algorithms, and reporting via smart wearables. To execute, our team developed a novel detection algorithm trained via machine learning based on aerial footage of real sharks and rays collected at local beaches, hosted and deployed the algorithm in the cloud, and integrated push alerts to beachgoers in the water via a shark app to run on smartwatches. The project was successfully trialed in the field in Kiama, Australia, with over 350 detection events recorded, followed by the alerting of multiple smartwatches simultaneously both on land and in the water, and with analysis capable of detecting shark analogues, rays, and surfers in average beach conditions, and all based on ~1 h of training data in total. Additional demonstrations showed potential of the system to enable lifeguard-swimmer communication, and the ability to create a network on demand to enable the platform. Our system was developed to provide swimmers and surfers with immediate information via smart apps, empowering lifeguards/lifesavers and beachgoers to prevent unwanted encounters with wildlife before it happens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drone Technology for Wildlife and Human Management)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Operational Protocols for the Use of Drones in Marine Animal Research
Drones 2020, 4(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones4040064 - 25 Sep 2020
Abstract
The use of drones to study marine animals shows promise for the examination of numerous aspects of their ecology, behaviour, health and movement patterns. However, the responses of some marine phyla to the presence of drones varies broadly, as do the general operational [...] Read more.
The use of drones to study marine animals shows promise for the examination of numerous aspects of their ecology, behaviour, health and movement patterns. However, the responses of some marine phyla to the presence of drones varies broadly, as do the general operational protocols used to study them. Inconsistent methodological approaches could lead to difficulties comparing studies and can call into question the repeatability of research. This review draws on current literature and researchers with a wealth of practical experience to outline the idiosyncrasies of studying various marine taxa with drones. We also outline current best practice for drone operation in marine environments based on the literature and our practical experience in the field. The protocols outlined herein will be of use to researchers interested in incorporating drones as a tool into their research on marine animals and will help form consistent approaches for drone-based studies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drone Technology for Wildlife and Human Management)
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