Author Archives: Volterra

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Field visit during Scotland SCM

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Today all participants visited the Game and Wildlife Scottish Demonstration Farm at Aboyne to see the laser setup and view the new coloured lasers prepared by BCG. These new handhelds with other spectrum colours will be tested the coming months by the Scottish team mainly on rabbits and later sent to the demo areas in Spain to be tested with other type of animals.

In one of the pictures the evidence of incredible damage these unchecked rabbit populations can do to the structure and ultimately the stability of the terrain.


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New Laser Fence SCM under way in Scotland

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LIFE to LIFE interactions

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On Thursday 12th September a meeting was held in Bangor, North Wales, the first of a series to initiate a collaboration between LIFE Laser Fence and ScuriousLIFE (Sciuriosity – Evolving IAS grey squirrel management techniques in the UK, LIFE14 NAT/UK/000467). At the meeting there was a useful discussion of the details and practicalities of both projects and also the shared interests and potential interactions between the two.

ScuriousLIFE was represented by Dr. Craig Shuttleworth while the participants from LIFE Laser Fence were Dr. Martin Sharp (Project Manager), Dr. Jenny Sneddon (Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Environmental Physiology) and Dr. Eduardo Cordova-Lopez (Senior Researcher).

Conversations focused shared themes of the projects, such as biodiversity, invasive species and habitats as well as natural and environmentally friendly ways to manage movement of animals considered to be pests or invasive alien species.

It was agreed that there is high potential for interaction and collaboration between the projects and future meetings are planned.

 


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IRIS tests the Handheld Laser in the province of Lugo (Spain)

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Lugo is a Spanish province, one of the four that are part of the autonomous community of Galicia (NW Spain).

In this region, both the agricultural and livestock sectors support an important part of the rural community. The primary sector has, to some extent, managed to mitigate the problem of rural depopulation by establishing a population in certain rural areas that were on the verge of disappearing. Proof of this is that the space available in Lugo for agricultural use is just over a third of the territory.

Around 65% of the farms produce a wide variety of products, the so-called polyculture, both for human consumption and for livestock feed. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards greater productive specialization, while at the same time increasing the quality and recognition of the goods produced.

In addition, the existence of important forest areas also contributes a great deal to the rural economy. About a third of the areas used for cultivation are located in conjunction with forestry operations, which guarantees mutual benefit from this relationship.

The forest is an enormous source of resources; however, it is the hiding place of an large amount of wildlife that causes most of the damage to crops and farms: attacks by wolves on sheep, from foxes to chickens, loss of corn by wild boar, or from vineyards and orchards by roe deer.

The IRIS team has taken advantage of this situation to test the Laser Fence system across the province. To this end, several days (during the months of April, May, June, July and August) have been used to visit different parts of the province. In order to improve the detection of animals, high positions have been selected in mixed areas (forestry and agriculture). In addition, the drone’s thermographic camera has been fitted out for viewing animals from the ground, via a screen, during low visibility.

During the field work, the IRIS team was able to detect roe deer, wild boar and rabbits. The results will be presented at the partners’ meeting in September in Scotland.