Airborne drones reveal movements of earthbound caribou

These reindeer can’t fly, but using airborne drones, researchers discovered lots of interesting things about how they move on the ground. In what they say is the first paper to use drones to record the movement of individual animals within groups, researchers found lots of variation among individual barren-ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) as they migrated between mainland Canada and Victoria Island. Using overhead footage, biologists extracted the trajectories of individual caribou to quantify how social influence impacts movement within the herd.

Read more in the New York Times, or the full study in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.


Header Image: Drone footage found variation among individuals as caribou migrated. ©Jeff Turner