5 awesome examples of how drones are used to help wildlife

5 awesome examples of how drones are used to help wildlife

1.     Catching whale snot -  the spray that comes out of a whales blowhole.

drones to catch watch whale snot

As an alternative to using a boat and a pole system to catch the goblets, the drones fly high enough so they don’t disturb the whales.  The scientists at Ocean Alliance are using these samples to collect data on the chemical makeup of the whales. They are gaining an increased understanding of their stress levels and what factors might disturb these mighty mammals.

2.    Identifying the activity and the numbers of orangutans in Tanzania.

The primates’ nests are often found in the woodland canopy, and so they are much easier to spot from above with the drone than on foot. What once would have taken months to count now takes the Ugalla Primate Project much less manpower as well as less time. 

3.     Drones scattering vaccine coated sweets to protect endangered ferrets.

The US Food and Fisheries are providing the sweets for the disease-ridden prairie dogs.  These dogs are the main source of diet for the ferrets, so this will in turn help the key mission of protecting the ferrets.

4.     Identifying illegal logging in the Los Amigos reserve of the Peruvian Amazon. 

In an 550 square miles of jungle, with just 5 rangers, the fixed wing drone that can travel up to 10 miles can quickly go straight to the point where deforestation is reported.  Allowing for monitoring that was never possible before.  

drones to monitor birds

5.     Using drones to monitor endangered birds

The RSPB are using the drones for monitoring breeding patterns, checking the state of nests and using thermal imaging to track their night activity.


Its been fun compiling this list. We would love to know if you have heard of any exciting new ways that drones are being used to help wildlife.

Please note for all these instances it must be pointed out that the crews undertaking the missions are fully trained and will have completed several risk assessments before under taking their missions. Drones must be respected, because if mismanaged they can be dangerous. Be safe with the machines and if you are going to use a drone for commercial purposes you need a government approved drone pilot. 

If you have any questions about drones and what they can do, please feel free to get in touch; we are based in the northwest of England, but work nationwide and abroad.