Drones are fun toys for hobbyists around the world, but they are also proving to be useful for many different day-to-day activities. From surveillance to search and rescue missions, the cameras on these drones are becoming more advanced with each new model as it hits the market. Videos are being captured for fun, sporting events are giving their fans bird’s eye views, and in this specific case, incredible footage is captured that would have likely never been seen before.
By using a drone, a team of researchers have been able to discover a huge colony of Adelie penguins in the remote Danger Islands of Antarctica. Thought to be low in their population, this discovery alone increased the amount of known Adelie penguins by a whopping 20%.
By these Louisiana researchers thinking outside of the box and using a drone, they were able to capture footage of these penguins, the islands that they are living on, and the number of nests that they have in that location.
This huge colony of penguins has about 751,527 nests. With an average of two penguins per nest, this would mean that there are roughly 1,503,054 penguins breeding on the island. This information is exciting because as temperatures have been rising and ice has been melting over the years, the population of penguins had thought to be decreasing significantly.
This discovery by using a drone gives hope that there are many more nearly extinct animals in remote areas that are just waiting to be discovered. By using drones that have quiet motors, scientists and researchers will be able to quietly glide in and capture footage without causing the animals any disturbance. They will also be able to access locations that have never been ventured to before.
The video that was captured of these penguins shows the rigid ice of the Danger Islands and many of its 1.5 million inhabitants. It shows the nests that these creatures have made and how they are sustaining a peaceful life in this remote area of Antarctica. This footage helped create new Marine Protected Areas within the region, which will help ensure that the penguins remain safe and undisturbed.