The Nettle Tree Butterfly is a snout butterfly that ranges across Europe, Africa and Asia. Obtaining an accurate count of butterflies with humans standing on the ground is problematic. Could a drone (UAV) provide better counts?
A group of scientists tested a UAV to count butterflies in Sobaeksan National Park, South Korea. Through trial and error, they determined that 4 meters was high enough to minimally disturb the butterflies while still allowing the butterflies to be identified. The UAV would hover in flight for 5 minutes collecting data from the surrounding areas. The camera was moveable and controlled by the scientists to focus on swarms of butterflies that were present. They concluded that drones are a useful tool for population monitoring.
Bojana Ivosevic, Yong-Gu Han and Ohseok Kwon. Monitoring butterflies with an unmanned aerial vehicle: current possibilities and future potentials. Journal of Ecology and Environment. 16 February 2017. 2017 41:12.