An increasing number of conservation and wildlife welfare agencies across the globe are using drone technologies to support their efforts. Shark Spotters in South Africa are using the DJI Phantom 4 aircraft to identify and record a variety of marine life. The Rare Species Fund, which helps save endangered species, uses the DJI Phantom to tell compelling stories about their important work.
In a similar vein, an Australian conservation group has run a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a very unique project. In an effort to protect, promote and restore nature across Australia the Wilderness Society has raised funds to purchase a drone. The goal is to help monitor deforestation – the harmful clearing of large areas of forest lands for non-forest use. The Society feels that the general public is not aware of how much land-clearing is occurring, hence their endeavor to bring this issue to a global audience using aerial video.
“By launching a fleet of drone,” the crowdfunding campaign website explains,” the Wilderness Society can afford to capture more high-quality footage than ever before.”
The campaign has raised nearly three times its initial goal, so the Society can now purchase a drone to film the deforestation from a seldom-seen aerial perspective. Previous filming using helicopters was expensive, using a drone brings affordability.
The drone model that the Society has chosen is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, one of the latest and most exciting releases from DJI. Launched in November 2016, the Phantom 4 Pro is a significant advance on DJI’s previous success, the Phantom 4. The Phantom 4 Pro has an improved camera which boasts a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor capable of shooting 4K video at 60fps. The advanced image sensors and processors ensure everything is captured with great dynamic detail. The camera is as powerful as many traditional ground cameras. The Wilderness Society will be able to capture the compelling footage needed to help mobilize its audience. The Phantom 4 Pro’s titanium alloy and magnesium alloy frame means improved robustness with less weight. In addition to two front sensors, the aircraft has rear and side sensors for obstacle avoidance.
The Wilderness Society has already passed their original funding goal to purchase one Phantom 4 Pro. Indeed, they have raised enough to purchase a second and now foster ambitions for a third.
The more drones the society can obtain, the more they will be able to capture images of deforestation which can be shared with the world. Lyndon Schneiders, the Society’s national campaign director explained most farmers were very responsible in their agricultural practices with regards to clearing land on their farms “we understand, most farmers do genuinely care about their country and do want to run it sustainably.”
The Wilderness Society, Shark Spotters, The Rare Species Fund and other conservation agencies have readily embraced the DJI Phantom 4 family of drone technologies to protect the health of the planet for the benefit of us all.