Northern Japan Town to Survey Bear Activity with Drone-mounted Infrared Camera after Attacks

A town in Akita Prefecture that has seen a series of bear attacks will survey the animals’ activity using a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera.

The government of Senboku announced Friday it will conduct the survey in the town’s Kakunodate area on Wednesday.

The thermal imaging camera can detect infrared radiation emitted from a heat source and can display differences in surface temperature as color.

The survey will be conducted early in the morning, when the temperature difference between a bear’s body and the ground and surrounding trees is greatest. It will be conducted in areas where bears have been frequently sighted and have harmed people.

The drone will fly over wooded areas to test whether bears and other wildlife can be detected, and whether they are easer to find at certain altitudes or using certain flying methods.