Lynx Escape - Dartmoor Zoo

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dewi

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May 26, 2015
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I suspect the drones are being used because they know where it is and they want to monitor it from a distance... not sure a drone would be much use in heavily wooded areas, but where the lynx is, it makes sense.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Of course the Lynx will give the people the run-around. It's a big cat, remember? Cats are not pack hunters, they are stand alone, carnivorous predators.
Sure hope the menu is a good one. But you have rabbits and grouse. Standard food for our local Lynx. My money is all on the cat.

Drones can't replace tracking. It's the little things like falling sand grains and bent grass.
 

Robson Valley

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Lynx are forest cats, not open grassland cats like maybe a Cheetah.
They will fade away like ghosts in the forest understory and leave you wondering if you saw the cat or the ghost.

I can't believe that you could do any survailence (sp?) with a drone.
I am amused to learn that Bald Eagles consider drones as some sort of prey to smash out of the
sky at the least provocation.

In 15 years here, I've found an active den, I've watched the kits play in the grass. After that, I decided that I would never
hunt grouse near them again. Take a look for birds, smile and drive on, maybe 2-3km across a river.
Come along. I have a 20-60X Nikon Prostaff 82mm spotting scope if you want to see the den.
 

dewi

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May 26, 2015
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S'pose it might depend on the drone... if it were a military grade drone like the fire scout, they can hover at low altitudes and monitor almost any environment using a range of cameras including thermal, so technically they could spot the lynx, but unlikely they'd identify it... how could you preprogramme it to recognise a cat? Saying that, it can already recognise different military vehicles, so its not impossible?!

Saying that, the drones used over here by the police, fire service etc are nowhere near as sophisticated and the minute the lynx disappeared into the trees, it's doubtful the drone could follow. Plus the civilian drones tend to be manual control, so its relying on the controller to follow a cat... I have trouble following my cat round the garden on foot, let alone with something as complicated to control as a camera drone.

As I say, I think because the lynx was in relatively open ground and they knew pretty much where it was at all times, the drones haven't been used to locate it, but more to watch it from a distance... probably helped decide where to drop the traps.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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......Plus the civilian drones tend to be manual control, so its relying on the controller to follow a cat.......

Military drones are also manually controlled. The pilot may be half a world away in a room in the Nevada Desert, but it's still piloted by actual human. That pilot is the one who'd recognize (or not) the image on his screen.
 
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santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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Lynx are forest cats, not open grassland cats like maybe a Cheetah.
They will fade away like ghosts in the forest understory and leave you wondering if you saw the cat or the ghost.

I can't believe that you could do any survailence (sp?) with a drone.......

S'pose it might depend on the drone... if it were a military grade drone like the fire scout, they can hover at low altitudes and monitor almost any environment using a range of cameras including thermal, so technically they could spot the lynx, but unlikely they'd identify it......

I was wondering about thermal imaging also.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Good. I want to watch the pilot fly his/her $10k drone through the branches of an oak tree in the dark.
Have you all not got better things to do?

Leave the damn cat alone. The agency has just crapped on the bathroom floor, a little short of the can.
Maybe those dim-bulbs should have had some cat people up front. They act like they are 2 bricks short of a chimney.
So you get a thermal image of a young goat. Whoopdee friggin doo.
 

sunndog

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May 23, 2014
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even a top grade thermal would struggle to see a lynx through an even slightly dense forest canopy in summer

As for tracking with drones. It would blow all the sign away. Following yes, tracking no
 

dewi

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May 26, 2015
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Yep, it'd be a blob... so the drone wouldn't be able to identify it.

Santa... yes they have a pilot, but they're not fully manual... its like the Comanche in the respect that it can identify over 200 targets... prioritise the 20 most dangerous and awaits for the gunner to decide on firing... all in less than 30 seconds. Targeting and identification is automated... a human couldn't do it anywhere near as fast. There is a big difference between the setup for a military drone and the types of drones the police use over here.... police drones tend to be a copper with a suitcase sized controller... whereas the military tend to operate from a control room environment.... plus civilian drones don't tend to carry payloads of explosives :p

A more interesting concept for tracking might be the Alpha Dog by Boston Dynamics... they're about the size of a Great Dane, runs at 4 mph, climbs slopes up to 35 degrees, walks across rubble, climbs muddy hiking trails, walks in snow and water, and carries 340 lb load. The latest generation (unlike the previous) are being fitted with 'heads' that contain targeting and recognition... give them a few years to iron out the bugs and make the thing a bit more stealthy... that might be able to track on the ground. Long way off beating a human tracker though.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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..... its like the Comanche in the respect that it can identify over 200 targets... prioritise the 20 most dangerous and awaits for the gunner to decide on firing... all in less than 30 seconds. Targeting and identification is automated... a human couldn't do it anywhere near as fast.......

True, but that's also the case with manned aircraft.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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even a top grade thermal would struggle to see a lynx through an even slightly dense forest canopy in summer

As for tracking with drones. It would blow all the sign away. Following yes, tracking no

Yep, it'd be a blob... so the drone wouldn't be able to identify it.....

Maybe. I guess I'm just used to better thermal imaging technology (military grade) Even then possibly still true. It was just a thought; especially if the cat's accustomed to humans and not prone to avoiding them.
 

santaman2000

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Jan 15, 2011
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Good. I want to watch the pilot fly his/her $10k drone through the branches of an oak tree in the dark.
Have you all not got better things to do?.....

I'm with Toddy; why would I want to fly through the branches if I could just fly over them and look through them for a recognizable heat signature?

Better things to do? Better than playing with drones and thermal imaging? Personally no, I can't think of many better things. After all, the whole idea is for the fun of it. Well. Maybe one thing more fun, but we're taking it for granted that hunting it the old fashioned way with a rifle or shotgun and dogs to tree it isn't not gonna be allowed.

That does bring up another possibility for the team trying to recapture it though; why not let a hunting dog pack to hunt it and tree it for the shooters with dart guns?
 
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dewi

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May 26, 2015
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Not sure even military grade would help identify it... if that cat lies down, would its heat signature be any different to the drone than a compost heap or a badger say? A moving target, the drone is going to be a fair distance away and given how cats move, it'd be interesting to see if a drone could keep up using only thermal images.

The Comanche btw is a manned helicopter... pilot and gunner onboard... and they can override the automatic targeting... but the targeting system and how it works is a bit scary, especially when you consider them being attached to drones. Drones I find are both equally scary and fascinating at the same time... they have so much potential, but they can also lead to an obvious detachment to what they are up the sky (or on the ground) for.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
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Not sure even military grade would help identify it... if that cat lies down, would its heat signature be any different to the drone than a compost heap or a badger say? ....

I don't know how well an OBC would do identifying it. I was thinking of the human operator or observer looking at the image. I imagine their familiarity with the subject would play a big role.
 

dewi

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Unless the lynx in question was 45ft long and capable of vertical take off, I doubt they'd have much familiarity with it to be fair.
 

sunndog

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May 23, 2014
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Dunno about the drone itself ID'ing anything, i'm a boots on the ground kinda guy

It would be better than a blob even with my own fairly decent thermal kit. Having never seen a lynx through thermal i'm confident i could tell the difference between one and a badger if it were moving. Static i would need a pretty clear shot of it to be anywhere near sure
 

dewi

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May 26, 2015
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They've brought in an experienced tracker with state of the art thermal imaging gear now... the drones weren't working. No idea how close they are to catching it, but I get the feeling if it doesn't want to be caught, they're not to get it.
 

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