Scientist uses drones to protect flamingos

FlaminGO! was developed to support monitoring and conservation tasks, and through photographs, it is possible to notice population patterns

Mexican scientist uses drones to protect flamingos
The biologist developed a system to protect flamingos - Photo: Ahmed Jadallah/REUTERS
English 17/02/2019 11:58 Notimex Mexico City Actualizada 12:04
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Through a system called FlaminGO!, Esaú Villarreal, UNAM alumni, uses drones to photograph flamingo colonies and then analyze them using an algorithm that automatically calculates the number of specimens.

The system photographs the flamingo colonies (Phoenicopterus ruber) that inhabit Sisal, Yucatán, using the drones.

According to UNAM Global, the images captured by FalminGO! help register the present, past and future of these birds, and prove how well or poorly they try to survive in the mangroves, and even identifies the waters where they seek food and nest.

FlaminGO! was developed to support monitoring and conservation tasks, and through photographs, it is possible to notice population growth or decrease patterns.

Esaú Villarreal studied Biology at the UNAM and since then, he has been recording podcasts about the habits of turtledoves and sparrows, experimenting with the digitalization of maps, and even built a robot that identifies blackbirds through their noises.

The UNAM explained that in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of FlaminGO!, Esaú and researcher Patricia Ramírez Bastida compared the results obtained through the drone with those obtained by other professionals.

For this, they analyzed the same five photographs and made their estimates. In the end, the effectiveness of the methods used so far ranged between 70% and 89%, while FlaminGO! registered a constant 95% accuracy.

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