Assessing the capabilities of digital imaging and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAE) for species management: Koala Abundance

Understanding the abundance of a species in an area is fundamental to the management of that species. This information is critical to allow Local Governments to assess the need for population support or control, and to assess the effectiveness of management actions. Improved abundance estimates of koalas will assist with cost effective management – since the correct management action can be applied at the correct time. Moreover, by utilising emerging technology such as unmanned aircraft to assist with koala population abundance estimates, local councils can make substantial cost savings through reductions in personnel and equipment necessary to conduct ground based surveys, and they can conduct the task in a more timely manner. This project aims to evaluate the utility of using new technology for the detection of koalas in natural vegetation, using an innovative approach that combines drones, digital imaging, and statistical modelling