Drones tested to aid Amazon river-dolphin counts


Amazon researchers and the conservation group WWF’s Brazilian office are field-testing drones as a tool for gauging the size of threatened Amazon river-dolphin populations. In an initial test conducted in August and in a second one this month, investigators experimented with the drone-monitoring of two threatened species—the pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), which is the largest Amazon river dolphin, and the smaller, grayish tucuxi dolphin (Sotalia fluviatilis). Inia and Sotalia are the only two genera of Amazon river dolphin, with various species of the Inia genus existing in the rainforest region’s watershed. The results appear promising. “Using drones to count Amazon river dolphins can give researchers a more accurate tool to measure their abundance,” says Miriam Marmontel of the Mamirauá Institute, a... [Log in to read more]

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