Scientists in the past used to go on foot to study invasive species. In the 11th annual forum called Invasives 2016, scientists share how they plan to use innovative strategies like using unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, dogs and DNA analysis to study invasive species.

Representatives from various governments and organizations discuss new ways to prevent and curb invasive species that have been affecting the economy, environment and society.

The presentations include the use of innovative techniques like using dogs, drones and DNA testing. One of the topics that stood out among the rest is the use of drones in doing daunting tasks of scientists to capture images that show the extent of invasive species.

An ecologist Catherine Tarasoff tried using the drone to detect invasive species in a British Columbia wildlife area. She recommends using unmanned aerial vehicles and remote-controlled devices to perform difficult tasks that they used to do in the past.

"With a drone we're looking at pixel sizes that are teeny tiny. The resolution is amazing. You can literally zoom in and see all the petals on that flower," Tarasoff, an adjunct professor at Thompson Rivers University, said.

Invasive species are any biological material like seeds, eggs, and spores that are capable of spreading to areas where they are not native to. In the long run, these species may lead to economic and environmental harm as well as threat to human health.

The experiment is one of the new innovative advancements that can help battle against invasive species. This sheds light on the role of technology in providing scientists with the needed data for planning and managing of ways to stem these species that has taken a toll on the economy and the environment.

Invasive species caused about $1.4 trillion worth of environmental and economic losses. In Canada, it led to losses amounting to between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion. Invasive species, if left uncontrolled, can limit land use and in the near future.

Meanwhile, the United States suffers from $1.1 to 120 billion each year in terms of economic losses. Even threatened and endangered species are at risk.

Photo: Jacinta Lluch Valero | Flickr

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