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Drones Join Fight to Save New Zealand's Rarest Dolphin


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Maui dolphins are only found on the west coast of New Zealands north island.

The nonprofit MAUI63 is developing a drone capable of finding and tracking M?ui dolphins in the wild and providing unparalleled data at a fraction of the cost of more traditional research methods.

Credit: Nature Picture Library/Alamy

The nonprofit MAUI63 organization hopes to preserve New Zealand's endangered Maui dolphin with an aerial drone designed to locate and track the dolphins in the wild and supply "unparalleled" data at far less cost than more traditional measures.

The drone can fly and film with a 50x optical zoom camera for up to six hours. Initial tests demonstrated that the drone's artificial intelligence system can distinguish Maui dolphins from other species with more than 90% accuracy.

Once compiled, the data gathered by the drone will be released publicly, and will be used to inform decisions by major seafood companies to reduce the risk to Maui and other dolphin species.

From The Guardian (U.K.)
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