Drones to spread pest baits?

11–16 of 16

  • What we need is a genetically engineered highly aggressive but sterile male of the target species. One that will go out and actively annihilate all the male competition and then breed unsuccessfully with all the females. No babys means in a few years no pests
  • @izogi. I know that the folks at goodnature are working really hard on long-life baits (lures) for traps. It's the biggest issue with their traps with current bait attractiveness dropping off sharply after 3 months or so. Crusting over with mould is the main issue I saw with the goodnature 'food' lures last I used them. The lure is still good but gets capped over with a crust that blocks the smell. I understood that concentrated pheromone lures seemed the best hope in that regard ... but I've got out if touch with progress there. Though you'd imagine they'd not give the broad multi species attraction that rabbit (for example) does. For poison bait the main issue is with bait dropped on the ground and exposed to moisture, sun, bacteria. If you're broadcasting bait and not retrieving it you NEED it to break down quickly (ie not persist in the environment). So end up with two opposing requirements. Ideally you want hait that sits on the ground in perfect condition for a week then vanishes instantly ... Bait stations seem pretty well designed to keep bait good for long enough for use in areas where targets animals are present ... given that you need to check them for use and top them up every now and then anyway. That said you can imagine the benefits of an 'indefinate life' bait station to use inside pest-free areas to catch any new arrivals. An addition to permanent kill traps. One that keeps bait good forever and signals back to base when it gets low ... That's where your idea would have most value, I'd say.
    This post has been edited by the author on 27 June 2017 at 07:48.
  • I was involved in helping a couple of guys that were developing a meshed network for monitoring bait usage. Great potential i thought. Would significantly reduce effort in maintaining bait station lines, as you'd only need to visit bait station that needed top ups. Each bait station had a sensor that measured the bait level, fortnightly or weekly. or what ever the schedule was. Information on level and ID would be transmitted to the next station which in turn transmitted to the next and finally to a point with either cell phone or radio coverage to a internet connected devise. The units were solid state and pretty indestructible with long battery live. Te concept gets round the lack of communication in some remote areas. Think the transmitting range was around 200 meters between units Great idea and i take my hat off to these guys. Not sure what happened to the trial but i know they tried to get funding from OSPRI but were ignored.
  • The one we were looking at was not a meshed network but a central node (which had to have cellphone coverage), and satellite traps each of which needed direct radio comms with the central node. The fella was looking at allowing the sort of meshed comms you describe though ... Your meshed network would allow lower radio power and overcome topographical barriers ... but would it be self-healing in the event of a single node failure? Or would everything beyond that node drop off the network? You'd need some reasonably smart routing protocols in there.
  • Thanks for the info. @madpom: "So drones would have to be for very small scale bait jobs." I'm just thinking about this: how long is it until we start seeing full-sized helicopter drones in regular use? Do they become much cheaper to operate if it's not necessary to cater for the safety of human passengers, and aren't being operated over populated areas? Maybe the engines can be used for longer before replacing, or something?
    This post has been edited by the author on 29 June 2017 at 08:57.
  • Predator drones would fit the bill and get the job done a lot faster. Maybe the US airforce could use bait spreading as practice for their real task
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11–16 of 16

Forum The campfire
Started by PhilipW
On 26 June 2017
Replies 15
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