Volunteers Geoff Spanner and Rose Rogers spend a large portion of each year on the road, volunteering their time and skills to environmental organisations and conservation projects. They're not unlike many of our retired and semi-retired volunteers … well, except when they pack for their volunteering adventures they also pack their quadcopter – a miniature, remote-controlled helicopter.
On a recent placement at Goonderoo Reserve in Central Queensland, Geoff sent his drone up to get a bird's-eye view of the brigalow. The results were some very useful landscape shots that our Ecologist, Murray Haseler is now able to compare to similar photos taken from a helicopter years before.
Technology such as quadcopters and drones have increasing applications in the ecological sciences and land management sector but they're often priced well outside of researcher and operational budgets.
To have a volunteer quadcopter on site at Goonderoo was a real treat and we were able to capture some excellent images of key management issues such as fire scars, ground cover, fuel loads, erosion features and weed infestations.
Nothing beats a bird's-eye view.