The increase in the ranges of wild populations and the development of synanthropic animal populations, that is, which are attracted to environments profoundly altered by man such as inhabited centers, parks and gardens, often requires the application of different skills than those used in the past. strategies in the course of study, planning and management of the problems connected to them.
Dr. Risolo and Dr. Ercolini, are veterinarians who, engaged in the chemical and mechanical capture of wild fauna and wandering domestic animals, have long used drones to make the correct assessments and plan the best strategies in anticipation of ground interventions. .
The last RPAS model aircraft acquired (Remote Pilot Aircraft System) was the MAVIC ENTERPRISE ADVANCED: extraordinarily reliable software, compact design with folding arms for easy transport and the latest generation thermal camera are the strengths that make him a really interesting work tool.
It is equipped with a thermal sensor, M2EA, which offers a thermal resolution of 640 × 512 at a frame rate of 30 Hz, which allows for truly amazing image and video detail, both day and night. The following image was taken in daylight, in bright light conditions, while planning an official wild boar containment plan in a protected area. Demonstrate the presence of a couple of animals sheltered within a dense scrub. The use of camera traps and ground detection techniques ("in search" or from a fixed location) have proved outdated for the census of the species in the light of this modern technology.
The 16x zoom, performing only in light conditions, gives the operator the ability to fine-tune the animals sought, while the Dual Vision mode (image right) allows you to quickly switch between thermal, visual or split feeds to help locate the animals. details during operations.
In analogy to the previous case, wild cattle have been taken back, subject to a trade union capture order as they are dangerous for road traffic and a source of damage to agricultural crops. These animals usually graze at night while they rest during the day in the cool wood. Without the appropriate technology, their discovery would be complex and expensive, especially in terms of time. Their early identification allowed a rational approach and an efficient telenarcosis capture intervention.
Il Mavic Enterprise advanced it features a great 48MP visual camera that far exceeds the 12MP of its predecessor. The maximum image size is 8.000 x 6.000 and it uses a 1/2 inch CMOS sensor along with an impressive 32x digital zoom, making it a very powerful camera for such a light model aircraft. The image shows, with excellent detail, cattle without ear tags, the subject of a capture plan to restore the correct traceability of the animals.
The infrared vision mode allows you to acquire images not only in thermal mode, but also BW and WB, often useful when the temperature difference between patterns is modest. In the photo, for example, some cattle have been found returning to the wood at the first light of dawn, near the bed of a small stream. The image is taken from a considerable distance, without the aid of the zoom, but it also allows to distinguish the animals by number and size.
The drone comes with some really useful and quick-to-install accessories (a few seconds through a USB port on the back of the model):
- real-time kinematics or RTK (an advanced satellite positioning technique that corrects the drone's camera position in real time with centimeter accuracy.
- A powerful spotlight that allows you to safely illuminate the most varied critical situations
- An advanced, powerful and versatile 100dB loudspeaker that we have successfully used to 'track down' some animals and guide them in the desired direction.
- A visibility beacon with a range of up to 5 km that allows you to maintain visual contact on long journeys.
The preparation time of the Mavic Enterprice Advanced it's appreciably short, less than a minute. However, it often requires calibrations (IMU and Compass) which waste valuable time in critical operations. The recommendation is to test the flight area in the preparatory stages for work.
The maximum ascent rate has been pushed to 6m / s, which means it can arrive on the scene and deliver aerial awareness faster than ever. The maximum descent speed has also been increased up to 5m / s compared to the DJI kin, which means it can get back to square one faster, saving battery and time. It has a spotlight in the lower part (belly) which conspicuously illuminates the landing area. If on the one hand it allows a precise and safe automatic landing, on the other hand we find it excessive in the illuminating capacity: looking at the drone during the landing phase you find yourself dazzled without being able to correctly evaluate the spaces with the risk of colliding with natural barriers, for example example tree branches.
For the rest, the flight mode is similar to that of its DJI cousins (Mavic) with which it shares the main functions, such as automatic return in case of signal loss or battery depletion and detection (in this case omnidirectional) obstacles.
In professional practice we consider it a technological breakthrough that significantly increases the potential of interventions; it also applies well to use within the hunting world: the recovery of injured or killed animals, the search for lost dogs on the trail, during the fauna censuses, in full compliance with the regulations, can be used for the management of plans numerical control of populations, as well as for the safety of personnel involved in hunting and wildlife operations. We remind you that in order to fly this type of model aircraft it is necessary to be trained operators in accordance with the provisions of current legislation which can be consulted at the following ENAC LINK: https://www.enac.gov.it/la-normativa/normativa-enac/regolamenti/regolamenti-ad-hoc/regolamento-uas-it
and we recommend that you always consult the site D-Flight to check flight restrictions often present.
Alan Risolo, freelance veterinarian, with extensive experience in the capture and containment of stray pets and wild animals through mechanical and pharmacological methods, qualified and authorized to practice telenarcosis, SAPR pilot.