June 7, 2012, by Tara de Cozar
Drone flights, elephants and Hendrix
You might have seen our recent research story on the work taking place on our Malaysia campus to track endangered elephants on the Malay peninsula. MEME, the Management & Ecology of Malaysian Elephants (MEME) research project, is headed up by Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, an ecologist and conservation expert, in the School of Geography. Using the very latest GPS and satellite communication technology he’s leading a group of Malaysian universities and researchers and the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks in tracking elephants to assess the effectiveness of the Malaysian Government’s conservation and management practices. You can read the full story on the Research Exchange website.
Dr Campos-Arceiz has just posted this video on YouTube of a conservation drone test flight – just one of the means they’ll be using to locate and track the elephants. It’s really worth a watch. You get an amazing view of the Malaysia campus, the movement of the camera is very calming and serene (at least I thought so, it might make you feel a bit seasick…) and the Jimi Hendrix soundtrack fits it perfectly. I also like the constant hum of what I presume is the drone engine. All that impressive technology is being kept in the air by something that sounds like a hairdryer.
Hopefully he’ll soon be posting video of elephants taking from the drone – we’ll keep you updated. If you want to find out more about the project visit www.camposarceiz.com and for more info on the conservation drones go to conservationdrones.org
Tara, thanks for posting this. This is a very exciting research project being done at UNMC. In fact, it would be interesting to see if the UK could do it but the last time I looked there were no herds of elephants wandering across Salisbury Plains!
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