Seymour Norte Island and nearby Mosquera Island are home to some of the Galápagos’ most iconic species, including the Blue-footed Booby and the Swallow-tailed Gull—the world’s only species of nocturnal gull.
In late 2017 Galápagos National Park staff detected invasive rats on Seymour Norte and Mosquera Islands. Hanson led the charge to develop a ground-breaking plan to use specially modified drones instead of traditional helicopters to remove invasive rats. Utilizing drones will help restore small and mid-sized islands around the world by providing greater mobility and a more cost-effective approach than helicopters and specially trained pilots.
The successful use of drones in this project was a global first that paves the way for drones to become a new tool for conservation, improving efficacy and precision.
Building upon Island Conservation’s 25-year legacy of success in innovation, the islands show no sign of invasive rats. While monitoring continues, we will work to streamline this game-changing technology.