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Know the rules that apply to recreational drone users and fly safely.

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Your feedback, comments and complaints help us to better understand and address community or industry concerns.

Environmental management

Drones are helping to manage and protect Australia’s native flora and fauna.

Case study: Researchers and government are working to protect, manage and restore native flora and fauna using drone technology.

Forest management

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are using drones to collect accurate forest data to improve forest planning and management processes. Drones are capable of cheaper, faster and more precise data collection than traditional methods. Greater data collection and precision improves how forests are managed. Drones are also used to improve fire control and manage at-risk species in forests.

Scientists are using cameras on drones to map large stretches of riverbanks more quickly and easily then before. Drone imagery allows scientists to assess changes to riverbank vegetation, map river heights and monitor bank erosion with greater accuracy. This has allowed water managers to avoid bank damage and improve riverbank vegetation.

Koala conservation

Bushfires, climate change and habitat loss have led to a decline in koala populations, but thanks to drone technology, we are one step closer towards restoring their numbers.

Determining koala numbers in rugged terrain can be labour intensive, challenging and may produce inaccurate data. However, NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service, WIRES and Landcare Australia are funding the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to use drones to find, count and manage koala numbers.

Following a successful Queensland trial survey, QUT will now carry out a larger trial with 5 Landcare Australia groups covering from North Victoria to Queensland.

The researchers will be able to more accurately determine how many koalas remain in the wild using drones fitted with cameras and thermal sensors. This research has the potential to be adapted to track other threatened species, such as wallabies.

Marine monitoring

Australian reefs are a natural wonder of the world and are home to unique sea life, as well as an important resource for our marine and tourism industries.

The ReefScan program uses drones to gather accurate ocean data which is used to assess the health of Australia’s coral reefs, to inform policy decisions and next steps.

Collecting data from our oceans can be difficult if the water is too shallow to dive in, low cloud cover prevents satellite and aircraft imagery, or if access is limited due to plants such as mangroves.

ReefScan uses 10 commercial grade aerial drones, each carrying 6 kilograms of sensing equipment, to produce high-resolution thermal imagery and data on water quality, temperature and coral reef health.

ReefScan is also trialling on-water and underwater drones to collect data. In the future this will enable:

  • Monitoring of plume fields, algal bloom and oil slicks;
  • Surveys of the ocean floor, coral bleaching and cyclone impacts;
  • Gathering data in rough seas; and
  • Mission planning, infrastructure inspections and permit compliance.

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Other uses of drones in Australia
Figure of Remote health
How are drones being used in Australia?

Remote health

Figure of Farming
How are drones being used in Australia?

Farming

Figure of Disaster relief
How are drones being used in Australia?

Disaster relief

Figure of Goods delivery
How are drones being used in Australia?

Goods delivery

Figure of Education and training
How are drones being used in Australia?

Education and training

Figure of Arts
How are drones being used in Australia?

Arts

Figure of Fire and rescue
How are drones being used in Australia?

Fire and rescue

Figure of Research and development
How are drones being used in Australia?

Research and development

Read more

Other uses of drones in Australia
Figure of Remote health
How are drones being used in Australia?

Remote health

Figure of Farming
How are drones being used in Australia?

Farming

Figure of Disaster relief
How are drones being used in Australia?

Disaster relief

Figure of Goods delivery
How are drones being used in Australia?

Goods delivery

Figure of Education and training
How are drones being used in Australia?

Education and training

Figure of Arts
How are drones being used in Australia?

Arts

Figure of Fire and rescue
How are drones being used in Australia?

Fire and rescue

Figure of Research and development
How are drones being used in Australia?

Research and development