Thanks to a $105,000 grant, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) and Department of Environment and Science have partnered in a Crocwise Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Beach Monitoring Plan.
This funding allows surf lifesavers in Far North Queensland to keep an eye from the sky on popular beaches using drone technology. The plan maintains and consolidates the approach of managing crocodiles according to defined crocodile management zones and does not alter existing practices of removing problem crocodiles. Surf Life Saving Queensland chief executive John Brennan says, “Our focus is to reduce risk of crocodile attacks to humans”. The plan provides a consistent, statewide approach and makes it simpler for everyone to understand how the public safety risks associated with crocodiles are managed.
The integration of drones, with SLSQ’s lifeguard and operation support, to undertake aerial monitoring aims to enhance crocodile identification and movement statistics around popular beaches in North Queensland.
John Brennan is optimistic that this initiative will boost crocodile public safety across the state. Brennan says, “The potential benefits of this technology are huge, and we’re hoping it will help our surf lifesavers and lifeguards increase protection for beachgoers across North Queensland and minimise the risks of a crocodile attack or incident from occurring”.