What do animals and galaxies have in common? Under a thermal infrared camera, they both glow.
The similarity is now helping conservationists monitor endangered animals that are often targeted by poachers. By deploying small drones with infrared cameras attached, scientists are developing tools for wildlife officials to watch these wild animals without disturbing them.
At night, when poachers are most likely to strike, wildlife guards have a difficult time spotting animals in the dark. But on infrared cameras, they're impossible to miss. On video, the landscape appears a dull pink and purple color. In contrast, animals and humans—anything that gives off a heat source—appears yellow. The warmer an object, the brighter it appears.
The interdisciplinary research team conducted a separate