A surveillance drone will patrol the skies as the duck hunting season begins.
This is the first year the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has used drones to survey wetlands to monitor the behaviour of hunters and protestors, including at wetlands that are closed.
DELWP operations manager Glenn Sharp said the drones would allow staff to efficiently survey large masses of land.
“It will mean we can put staff where they are needed and respond quickly to illegal activities,” he said.
“This is a trial to see if this type of surveillance provides increased efficiencies at large scale events such as duck hunting opening weekend and other recreational activities on public land.”
“The drone has the capability to specifically identify people on wetlands from great distances and is unlikely to be seen or heard during flight. It uses cameras and infra-red technology relayed live for immediate on-ground response.
“The drone is not expected to disturb any wildlife or hunting activity as it will provide required details in excess of one kilometre away.”
As well as the drone, DWELP has deployed 55 staff for the duck season’s opening weekend.
“Staff will ensure hunters and protestors behave according to hunting legislation and will be spread across Victoria.
“DELWP staff will be teamed up with staff from GMA, Parks Victoria, Victorian Fisheries Authority, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and Victoria Police and are urging hunters and protestors to stick to all the rules related to hunting.”
For more information on duck hunting season click here.
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- Management authority’s new duck hunt regulations upset hunters and animal rights activists
- Illegal behavior not to be tolerated, hunters warned
- Government defends changes amid fears protesters could be placed in the firing line
- Scores of birds hunted illegally at Koorangie State Game Reserve