Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Measure and Monitor Streambank Impacts of Wild Horses in the Australian Alps
IAE Seminar Series

  • Faculty of Education, Maths, Technology and Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Environment
  • Institute for Applied Ecology
  • Public lectures/seminars
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Thousands of wild horses inhabit the Australian Alps’ national parks and, while there are strong mixed feelings about their presence, one thing is certain; they damage sensitive ecological systems. This study resents an approach for modelling stream bank morphology. Based on low altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle surveys, high-resolution digital images and Structure from Motion techniques are exploited to produce 3D computer models of sub-alpine streams. Year to year comparisons are then be made to assess rates of stream degradation.

Additional Information

Thousands of wild horses inhabit the Australian Alps’ national parks and, while there are strong mixed feelings about their presence, one thing is certain; they damage sensitive ecological systems. In fact, their trampling impacts on sphagnum bogs and other endangered ecological communities have been described as “extensive and horrific”. While qualitative assessments of horse impacts upon stream banks have been conducted, no previous attempt has been made to geospatially quantify the damage. In this study, funded by the Australian Alps Liaison Committee, an approach for modelling stream bank morphology is presented. Based on low altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) surveys, high-resolution digital images and Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques are exploited to produce 3D computer models of sub-alpine streams. Year to year comparisons are then be made to assess rates of stream degradation.

About David

David Paull is a Senior Lecturer in Geography in the School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS) at UNSW Canberra. His research interests range from Biogeography, Wildlife Ecology and Geomorphology through to Remote Sensing and GIS.