Searching crocodile nest with new technology


Luke Evan, a Phd student of Cardiff University, England has beentrying very hard to look for crocodile nest for his research in the region of Kinabatangan river, the longest river in Sabah, the land below the wind in North Borneo.

Over the past two years, he has been explored lot of area with small boat or simply walk in the field, hoping to find some crocodile nest which is essential for his research. Unfortunately lady luck seems shy away from him all this while.  Even though this talented young English man work so hard, he just did not encounter any one nest which he is longing for.


Through the connection of Dr Benoid with conservationdrones, eventually they acquire a Maja type drone system. The hardware is there, but no one can operate it. After some e mail and a visit to the study site, Danau Gilang Field Centre, As Asia team member of conservationdrones, We offer to do a trial mission flight with our own equipment, a reliable Skywalker base UAV.

As the field centre is surrounded by thick tropical rain forest, we can not find any suitable landing area. But since the area of interest is all by the river side, we think we may able to land the plane by the river bank or some tall grass by the river.

Eventually about 10 missions have been flown with thousands of high definition images acquire by the on board camera. These images then  stitch together to generate geo reference othomosaic and digital surface model of difference study site.

Upon download raw images from the camera, Luke go through each images carefully with his trained eyes. This time the lady luck is with him, very soon his sharp eyes identify a few possible sign of crocodile nest in the images. Since each image is geo tag and the fact that he know the area very well, he visit the site the very next morning and true enough, there is a crocodile nest and the rest is history.

We are very please to learn that conservationdrones help yet another researcher to facilitate his study of crocodile and the drone can operate in this type of challenging environment.

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  • MR60

    The other day I found a crocodile nest




    it was in my boss' office.

  • 100KM

    Hi MJ

    Yes, it is completely possible as all images have GPS information. We can send a hexacopter equip with a Gopro or camera to take close up picture. 

    Hi Gary


  • Moderator

    Well done Keeyen this is a great story.

  • Great work Keeyen, Luke and associated crew.

    Presumably, you could then fly a follow-up mission to likely nest sites at lower altitude to obtain higher clarity images - determine whether the nest had been raided or hatched or a multitude of other questions.

    Great landing skills.


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