GPS positioning of the drone with precise and consistent bait coverage from pre-programmed mission plans.
Cost-efficient application and logistics of a drone operation compared with helicopter and hand-baiting.
Conduct baiting operations without setting foot on the ground or having to hike through dense forest.
Transport all the equipment easily to project site by plane or boat.
ECT is highly experienced conducting aerial bait applications using drones for the eradication of invasive pests, both including vertebrate pests and invertebrates. ECT conducted the world’s first ever island eradication of vertebrate pests by drone in January 2019, Seymour Norte (184ha) in the Galapagos Islands by accurately dispersing 3,000kg of bait. Since then, ECT has worked in New Zealand and internationally on a number of eradication projects using drones for precision dispersal of bait.
ECT has developed specialist spreaders for a variety of bait dispersal patterns, including full swath, directional swath, trickle and cluster baiting. These spreaders are then attached to ECT’s drones which have been designed and built specific for aerial baiting. These systems typically have a maximum product capacity of 20kg.
By using drones, ECT pre-programs the flight mission based upon accurate 3D models of the target area, thereby allowing accurate flying and baiting around clifflines and over varying topography.
ECT has experience with various bait from different manufacturers, including brodifacoum from PestOff and Bells Labs and 6g / 12g cereal bait for DOC.
The benefits of using drones include:
Pre-programmed flight missions provide time for QC before application starts
Precision dropping of bait around sensitive areas
Consistent and uniform bait coverage without gaps
Accurate flight lines and start/stop points with GPS coordinates
Smaller buffer zones required
Lower logistical cost than helicopters
Accurate data reporting with drone flight data.
If you would like to discuss an aerial baiting project with us, no matter how large or small or any location, please feel free to contact us.
As part of New Zealand's Department of Conservation's plan to help achieve a predator free country by 2050, ECT is developing a specialist aerial baiting drone for landscape scale projects. This includes the hardware and software integration of an unmanned helicopter, combined with a specialist dispersal system for cereal bait, and appropriate regulatory approval process for trials in New Zealand.
Eugenie Sage, Conservation Minister said:
“Drones have the potential to be a game-changer – in helping remove pests from remote offshore islands, respond to pest incursions and suppress predators on mainland New Zealand. They may become another of the broad range of tools available to the Department of Conservation (DOC) and landholders to manage predators and restore New Zealand’s unique natural landscapes.
“It will look at the feasibility and costs of drone use for predator control, as well as potential savings in carbon emissions from current aerial methods.
“This Government is supporting innovative Kiwi companies such as ECT to develop the technology of the future to bring back our native wildlife,” Eugenie Sage said.
Find the Beehive press release here