Kakapo Recovery uses ‘Skyranger’ to remotely collect kākāpō transmitter data from an airplane.
A small black box sits in the plane and the pilot follows a predetermined GPS grid, while a pre-programmed flight scan looks for birds. The information from the transmitters is downloaded as the plane flies over the island and is stored on a USB stick.
Once back in the office, staff are able to download the information and get a general location of the birds, whether they are alive, if they have mated (and with whom and when) and if females are incubating. This saves the rangers some serious walking time!