How DJI Matrice 30T is protecting biodiversity.


Overcoming extreme weather conditions with the M30T drone

Tierra del Fuego, located at the southern end of Patagonia, is a unique region rich in biodiversity. It is home to a variety of plant and animal species that have adapted to the harsh sub-Antarctic climate.

Karukinka Park, a 300,000-hectare private conservation area located in Tierra del Fuego, is environmentally critical: the subantarctic forests and peatlands of this region are essential ecosystems that can absorb large amounts of atmospheric carbon, making them an important ally in the fight against global warming. These lands are also home to many endemic and threatened species, including the Magellanic woodpecker, an endangered bird found only in this part of the world.

World Wildlife Conservation Society Chile

Guardian of these lands, the World Conservation Society Chile (WCSC) has been at the forefront of conservation efforts in these lands for more than 17 years, working to protect the country’s key species and ecosystems.


However, conservation efforts in Tierra del Fuego are difficult due to the region’s extreme weather conditions, which include heavy rains, high winds and snow.

To improve its environmental monitoring activities in the southern part of Chile, Tierra del Fuego, WCSC recently purchased a DJI Matrice 30T drone. The region’s extreme weather conditions were an important factor in the selection of the M30T drone because a drone that could withstand the elements was needed. The M30T’s IP55 rating and its resistance to freezing temperatures, not to mention its 640×512 thermal sensor, made it a logical choice.

M30T and the elements

The use of drones has been instrumental in scaling and elevating WCSC conservation efforts in the region. The M30T has allowed the WCSC team to directly monitor species such as guanaco, fox, elephant seal, and black-collared albatross. The drone has also been used to protect the park and surrounding areas from threats such as fire and invasive species, as well as to document environmental changes and invasive species.

dji m30

Here are some of the ways the WCSC team uses its drone for conservation activities:

  • Species monitoring: Monitoring species in areas of difficult access, such as southern elephant seals, and subsequent photographic analysis of colonies using orthoimaging.
  • Exploration: Searching for leopard seal populations in fjords where ice prevents boat access.
  • Population counting: Research and data analysis of guanaco populations in Magallanes. This is being done with the M30T’s infrared sensor to try to determine guanaco densities in forest areas, something that has been little explored so far.
  • Beaver Eradication: Conduct aerial surveys of affected areas, monitor the success of control actions, and assess the progress of ecosystem restoration.
  • Ecosystem analysis: Assess the integrity and functionality of ecosystems such as the Magellan steppe, Nothofagus forest, and peatlands (among others).
  • Threat identification: Monitoring direct threats to the park, such as forest fires, illegal logging, and unauthorized entry into critical areas.
drone image

Drones for conservation

Conservationists around the world are turning to drones to help improve their work.

Drones can capture high-resolution images and video, providing valuable information about species behavior and ecosystem dynamics. They can cover large areas in a short amount of time, making them very efficient in data collection. They also give researchers access to hard-to-reach areas, such as reefs or remote islands, which are often home to rare and endangered species.

The World Conservation Society Chile is making great strides in environmental conservation efforts, especially in the southern part of Chile. The use of drones in conservation activities has opened up new opportunities for researchers and conservationists, and it is likely that their use will continue to increase in the coming years. The WCSC has set a great example, and we hope that other conservation organizations will follow suit in using drones in their conservation activities.