Evaluation of infrared thermography for detection of animal species

The increasing need for conservation and invasive species management requires ever more accurate detection of animal species for ecological surveys. This research project aims to evaluate the application of infrared thermography, an emerging technology which provides time and resource advantages over traditional survey methods, such as visual detection, scat and track surveys.

Detection accuracy of infrared thermography will be quantified to determine optimal environmental conditions, such as vegetation type and density, in which the technology is most effective. Primary focus is on koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), which is both a practical choice for its availability and for its distinction as one of many Australian marsupials with a threatened conservation status.

The outcome of this project may provide greater insight to the distribution of koala populations, with the benefit of more accurate field data for development decisions in the greater Brisbane area.