Altamira municipality. Courtesy of Google Earth.
Brazilian municipalities are planning to use drones to map properties and monitor forest cover as they move to step up enforcement of the country’s Forest Code, reports The Financial Times.
According to a story published Monday, the municipality of Altamira in the state of Pará recently purchased a drone for a pilot monitoring project that aims to support the development of the Cadastro Ambiental Rural (CAR), a government-managed database that will contain details on all properties in the Amazon region. The CAR underpins Brazil’s recently revised Forest Code by establishing who owns what land and is therefore legally liable for complying with environmental laws.
Altamira says the drone has become a necessity because Brazil’s current satellite-based system isn’t timely or accurate enough to ensure implementation at a property-level scale.
Alta Floresta is also planning to buy a drone for the same purpose.
According to the The Financial Times, the drones being considered by municipalities are priced upwards of $40,000 per unit.
In other regions, conservationists are increasingly turning to hobbyist model airplanes for conservation work. At a cost of $1,000-2,000, these “conservation drones” are outfitted with camera and sensors and used for a wide range of applications, including tracking wildlife, collecting land use data, and monitoring deforestation and fires.
(01/24/2014) At the foothills of the Himalayas, elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers stir in the green forests. Protecting and monitoring these animals and the health of tropical forests worldwide is a significant challenge, often requiring large amounts of time, money and risk. Fortunately, an affordable new tool is soaring into the conservation sphere: autonomous flying vehicles, or drones. Lian Pin Koh, is a founding director of the non-profit ConservationDrones.org, which builds capacity in the use of drones for conservation in the developing tropics.
(11/29/2013) The use of small autonomous flying vehicles — model airplanes to hobbyists — is revolutionizing the field of conservation, enabling researchers to track wildlife, monitor for poachers, and survey inaccessible forests and reefs.
(09/30/2013) In open areas, like the African savannah, scientists often estimate wildlife populations through manned aerial surveys. However a new study in mongabay.com’s open access journal argues that using small drones may be more cost-effective, safer, and capable of reaching more remote areas. Researchers tested the accuracy of drone counts in Bazinga Game Ranch (NGR) in Burkina Faso.