When I was slogging through the swamps and slipping down the mud-slicked trails of Sumatra, following orangutans, I often daydreamed about how the right tech would make the job so much easier. I even started to write a novel about it.
Now one of those gizmos I so wished for is a reality: small aircraft with cameras that can get above the canopy to see what’s going on up there from a much better vantage than on the ground. And a colleague and friend, Serge Wich, who worked in Zaire and then on Sumatra at roughly the same time as I did (but always much more skillfully and proficiently over much longer timeframes), got some support from National Geographic to set the things up. Here’s some video of my buddy Serge Wich talking to Nat Geo reporters:
and here’s a TED talk by his co-conspiritor at ConservationDrones.org, Lian Pin Koh:
Great job, team!