“It’s basically a flying laptop with auto-pilot capabilities” – Andrew Denzin
A group of Indigenous rangers in Queensland, Austria, the Yuku Baja Muliku Rangers, are showing the world how aerial photography drones can be applied and used as cost-effective environmental monitoring machines. Work that was traditionally done using helicopters at an hourly rental rate of up to $2,000 can now be just as effectively completed using, for instance, marine drones at the same price, or lower. The group of Indigenous Rangers, which were trained by Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority (“GBRMPA”) drone pilot Andrew Denzin, are using aerial photography drones to discover unexplored lands, which they hope will also help map parts of the Australian territory in great detail. Their aerial photography drones are being deployed from Archer Point site, an area used by several endangered species of turtles as a “marine highway” to Raine Island, one of the largest turtle nesting sites in the world. In addition to being an invaluable aid to monitoring cultural heritage sites such as Archer Point, aerial photography drones are also being used by the ranger to support the monitoring of marine debris, seagrass beds, coral reef, beach erosion, mangroves, as well as turtle and dugong activity and seabird populations.