Integrating UAV Technology in an Ecological Monitoring System for Community Wildlife Management Areas in Tanzania
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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have recently emerged as a new remote sensing aerial platform, and they are seemingly advancing real-time data generation. Nonetheless, considerable uncertainties remain in the extent to which wildlife managers can integrate UAVs into ecological monitoring systems for wildlife and their habitats. In this review, we discuss the recent progress and gaps in UAV use in wildlife conservation and management. The review notes that there is scanty information on UAV use in ecological monitoring of medium-to-large mammals found in groups in heterogeneous habitats. We also explore the need and extent to which the technology can be integrated into ecological monitoring systems for mammals in heterogeneous habitats and in topographically-challenging community wildlife-management areas, as a complementary platform to the traditional techniques. Based on its ability to provide high-resolution images in real-time, further experiments on its wider use in the ecological monitoring of wildlife on a spatiotemporal scale are important. The experimentation outputs will make the UAV a very reliable remote sensing platform that addresses the challenges facing conventional techniques.