WATCH: Drones battle wild dogs in Southern Downs
IN A nation first, Ninox Robotics sent drones flying high over the Western Downs yesterday morning.
The company partnered with Southern Downs and Goondiwindi Regional Councils, using the drones to improve baiting programs across the region.
SDRC pest management officer Craig Magnussen said it was important for the different groups to join forces to find where wild dogs were moving.
"Really this is about making aerial baiting and shooting more efficient and giving us a better idea of where these dogs are moving," Mr Magnussen said.
"You can send in trappers but often it's such a big area of land so we would really like to use this technology to find out where they're coming from so we can adjust our control methods accordingly."
The drones took to the sky above Brooklyn, a sheep and cattle property owned by grazier Brendan Frith.
"I've been out here for about two years and though we haven't had huge stock losses (pest animals) are a recognised problem in the area," Mr Frith said.
"I think the drones are definitely a good thing to help landholders out here with pest tracking - it could be a very valuable tool."
The military-grade drones can fly for up to four hours at a time and use both standard and thermal imaging to track animals.
Ninox managing director Marcus Ehrlich said he was pleased to pioneer the aircrafts for pest control applications.
"We know there's been problems with invasive species here and we're honoured to have forward thinking groups like Southern Downs Council and Granite Border Landcare as our first clients," Mr Ehrlich said.
"There are a lot of ideas out there about the applications of robotics and this seemed like a worthwhile one so we moved to make it happen."