discussion / Sensors  / 26 July 2017

Thermal cameras and wildlife

Hello sensors group! I recently saw this fascinating video on thermal imaging of elephants in the Dzangha Sangha Protected Area in CAR. It was really fascinating to me, and it makes me think about getting a thermal camera of my own. With prices dropping and their utility increasing, does anyone else feel the same way? How can we better use thermal imaging technology to protect wildlife and stop poaching? What species could benefit the most from thermal imaging technology that isn't already being conserved with it?

Hey @pwrege and @Eric+Becker  what are your thoughts on this?

Oh, cool! It'd be interesting seeing if it could be used for tracking as well. I've used some handheld cameras and looked at footprints, but those disappeared pretty quickly. 


Abstract here from the IMC Congress in Perth, they found the higher-res versions are much better than the less expensive (e.g. iphone) versions when it comes to finding animals. 

Now you see me: How thermal imaging increases detection of cryptic nocturnal mammals in tropical regions

Avril Underwood1 , Mia Dehre-Miller2 1. James Cook University, Smithfield, Queensland, Australia 2.

University of Lancaster, Lancaster, United Kingdom Accurate measures of species abundance and distribution underpin effective wildlife management and conservation strategies. Obtaining these data is very challenging when researching the cryptic nocturnal arboreal mammals of in the dense forest of the Wet Tropics. Our research shows that using a hand-held thermal imager significantly increases the detection rate of all mid-sized arboreal mammals when compared to the most commonly used method of spotlighting. We determine the optimal environmental and mechanical parameters for thermal imaging, and we investigate ‘cost-versus-result’ of hand-held imaging devices currently available on the market. We suggest that hand-held thermal imaging is a great emerging technology for cryptic arboreal mammal detection across tropical forested regions and beyond.