Flying high to find koalas

We use drones and infrared imaging in a collaborative project with Noosa and District Landcare to identify wildlife populations in bushfire-affected areas.

Associate Professor Grant Hamilton joined Noosa and District Landcare to launch a project using technology and artificial intelligence to create a “census” of animals that survived the bushfires.

“We know that the devastating bushfires have had a terrible impact on wildlife, but to help protect those which survived the terrible disaster, we first need to identify the populations of animals still in fire-affected areas,” Professor Hamilton said.

Last year, Professor Hamilton co-authored a study with PhD student Evangeline Corcoran and Dr Simon Denman from QUT, and John Hanger and Bree Wilson from Endeavour Veterinary Ecology,  that was published in Nature Journal Scientific Reports, that detailed a technique for locating koalas using drones that can detect heat signatures.

Read more

Latest News

  • First step towards national conservation AI network underway (2022)
    The first step toward building a national conservation AI network is underway, with the WildSeek Project: Community Wildlife Intelligence Hubs being launched by Landcare Australia, WIRES and QUT.
  • QUT scales up search for koalas with AI Hub (2021)
    QUT researchers will create an artificial intelligence hub for conservation to work with citizen science groups in scaling up efforts to accurately count koalas, and other endangered animals, using drones and infrared imaging.
  • Researchers boost system to spot koalas (2020)
    QUT researchers have improved their system even further for estimating the number of koalas using drones and AI
  • Flying high for koalas on Kangaroo Island (2020)
    QUT researchers will apply their artificial intelligence (AI) system that uses drones and infrared imaging in a collaborative project to count Kangaroo Island’s surviving koala population after the recent devasting bushfires.
  • Drones to seek out surviving koalas in bushfire zones (2020)
    QUT researchers will apply their innovative method for detecting koalas using drones and infrared imaging in a collaborative project to identify wildlife populations in bushfire-affected areas.