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WATCH: Innovative Aerial Releases Using Drones

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September 27th, 2021

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Island conservation is critical, especially given the rapidly increasing impact of climate change on coastal and island ecosystems and communities. Climate change is spawning devastating wildfires scorching thousands of hectares of forests worldwide. Combined with the alarming rate of deforestation, we are losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually. With sowing drones and coated seeds, we can accelerate ecosystem restoration at a large scale and low cost. Stopping deforestation and restoring damaged forests could provide at least 30 percent of the climate solution. 

Invasive species are also a growing challenge. They primarily spread around the globe via human transportation systems, are a leading cause of extinctions on islands and biodiversity loss globally. Using drones to restore island ecosystems by eradicating invasive mammals has repeatedly proven to be a high-impact conservation action.

Another application of release drones in tropical climates is for the release of mosquitos to prevent the transmission of insect-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue. Mosquitos are by far the deadliest animals globally, taking the lives of close to a million people every year. Thus, new insect release techniques may be a promising way to reduce the annual mortality of mosquito-borne diseases.

In considering these challenges, David Will, Head of Innovation at Island Conservation, Lot Amoros, Founder of Dronecoria and a member of Spain Flying Labs, and Jürg Germann, Head of Engineering at WeRobotics, jointly organized a webinar to present new drone use cases for conservation, ecosystem protection, and public health. In the webinar, the speakers share their best practices, challenges, and lessons learned during implementation. 

There is also an included Q&A session in the recording, and the presentation slides are available here.

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