Drones for Deer Detection in Forestry Plantations
Highland Access Ltd is a provider of innovative drone solutions. This case study explores the implementation of drone technology. specifically, the DJI M300 equipped with the Zenmuse H20t quad sensor payload, for detecting deer in new forestry plantations. By leveraging this technology, Highland Access Ltd aims to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the accuracy of deer management practices.
The case study takes place in Lochaber, Scotland. Where woodland expansion and the protection of young trees are crucial factors for sustainable land management.
Deer browsing poses a significant threat to young trees and woodland expansion projects in Scotland. It is vital to control deer populations to prevent damage to existing woodlands, as well as to facilitate the restocking and regeneration of forests. Other forms of damage, such as bark stripping on established trees..
Highland Access Ltd uses drones to monitor new plantations and regeneration sites, enabling efficient deer detection. By utilising the DJI M300 UAV, clients can save time and resources compared to traditional methods. The drone’s ability to survey plantations of up to 100ha in under 30 minutes provides accurate overviews of deer access points. Operating at a height of 120 meters, the drone causes minimum disturbance to wildlife.
The dual thermal and zoom capabilities of the Zenmuse H20t payload allow for effective deer detection and identification. The thermal sensor detects deer, while the zoom feature provides clear visual confirmation. Infrared surveys are recommended during low-light periods, or cold spells, to prevent solar gain.
The use of drones offers efficiency, cost-effectiveness, non-invasiveness, real-time monitoring, and accurate data collection. This makes them an essential tool for managers and conservationists. Implementing this innovative technology has the potential to improve deer control practices and contribute to the sustainable growth and preservation of woodlands in Scotland.