The Case of the Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park

In the heart of the Central Apennines, the Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park is undergoing a technological revolution that promises to transform wildlife monitoring. Thanks to the innovative solutions from ADPM Drones, the management of ungulates and biodiversity conservation have become more efficient and precise than ever.

Ungulates are a group of mammals characterized by the presence of hooves. They include animals such as deer, wild boars, horses, cattle, and many others, and are generally herbivores.

Technological Innovation at the Service of Biodiversity

The Sirente-Velino Park, spanning over 54,000 hectares, is a biodiversity jewel, hosting 46% of Italian mammal species, including the deer (Cervus elaphus) and the wild boar. Managing these populations has always been a complex challenge, exacerbated by climate change and the presence of invasive species.

Traditionally, wildlife monitoring has relied on methods such as direct counts, camera traps, and capture-mark-recapture (CMR) techniques. However, these methods have significant limitations: limited geographical coverage, high number of operators required, disturbance to animals, and high costs. Additionally, the lack of automatic georeferencing of data makes spatial analysis difficult.

The Intervention of ADPM Drones

In response to these challenges, the Park, in collaboration with ADPM Drones and ISPRA, has launched a pioneering project to use Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for wildlife monitoring.

Precision Georeferencing

A key element of the project was the use of the NATO STANAG 4609 format, which allows the georeferencing of every pixel of the videos taken by drones. This standard enables the integration of video from aerial, terrestrial, or maritime sensors with essential metadata such as geolocation and time, improving the precision of the collected data.

STANAG 4609 Format: NATO standard that defines technical parameters for the distribution of video, audio, and associated data in real-time for surveillance and reconnaissance applications, including the georeferencing of each pixel in videos.

Centralized Communication Architecture

Another significant innovation was the implementation of a centralized communication architecture, enabling the remote management of field operations. This system allows operations both Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) and Beyond Radio Line Of Sight (BRLOS), making the technology accessible even to non-expert personnel and allowing the execution of fully automated missions.

BVLOS: Drone flight operations beyond the direct visual line of sight of the operator, allowing drones to cover greater distances without the operator needing to see them directly.

BRLOS: Drone flight operations beyond the direct radio range of the operator, using other forms of communication to maintain control of the drone.

Successful Tests

In 2022, test campaigns were conducted using DJI MAVIC 2 ENTERPRISE ADVANCED drones for ungulate census. The campaigns identified optimal flight and shooting parameters in different seasons and environmental conditions.

  • Winter 2022: The missions demonstrated that a flight height of 60 meters was ideal for target identification. Thermal imaging allowed the detection of deer and wild boars even in low light conditions.
  • Spring 2022: Footage in conditions of greater vegetative cover highlighted the need to use combinations of thermal and RGB cameras to overcome the identification difficulties associated with vegetative cover.

2023 Census in the Subequana Valley

In 2023, a complete census was conducted in the Subequana Valley, covering about 22,000 hectares. The missions were planned and executed to ensure uniform coverage, using drones equipped with video and thermal cameras. Each mission was carefully planned remotely, optimizing takeoff points and reducing on-site execution times.

A Bright Future

The project results have demonstrated that applying a new methodology in the use of UAS offers numerous advantages over traditional census methods. The objectivity and verifiability of the observations, precise georeferencing that allows accurate mapping of wildlife distribution in a GIS environment*, and operational efficiency that significantly reduces costs, represent the key and absolutely innovative elements of the solution. Furthermore, the technology is applicable to other species and purposes, such as agricultural damage control and video surveillance.

GIS Environment: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems that produce connected visualizations of geospatial data, i.e., data spatially referenced to the Earth.

Implications for Citizen Science

The applicability of the procedure to smartphone footage facilitates the involvement of visitors in “Citizen Science” projects, where the public actively contributes to the collection of scientific data.


The solutions from ADPM Drones have revolutionized wildlife monitoring in the Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park. Thanks to the use of drones and advanced georeferencing technologies, the park is now able to manage and conserve its biodiversity more efficiently and precisely. This project represents a model for other protected areas, opening new perspectives for wildlife management and biodiversity conservation.

Proposal for the Future: AVIORYM

The proposal for the future is the extended use of the AVIORYM system for monitoring the Sirente-Velino Regional Natural Park and other protected areas. AVIORYM, developed by ADPM Drones, has already demonstrated bringing autonomy and automation to unprecedented levels, providing an essential contribution to the park monitoring project.

AVIORYM consists of a small automated hangar housing commercial drones. Equipped with a rapid charging system and integrated intelligence, AVIORYM allows autonomous and remote management of the entire flight process. This includes weather condition monitoring, mission planning, complete drone and onboard sensor control, and automatic takeoff and landing operations.

The future use of AVIORYM will significantly reduce the need for human interventions in the field, improving the efficiency and speed of operations and minimizing disturbance to wildlife. The versatility and resilience of AVIORYM will allow continuous and precise monitoring of critical park areas. The system, strategically distributed, is designed to be durable and waterproof, ensuring operability even in adverse environmental conditions.

A single AVIORYM system can cover a circular area of up to 10,000 hectares, eliminating the costs of manual missions and simplifying authorization procedures. Moreover, the remote management of missions and the ability to operate in three main modes – real-time remote control, pre-programmed missions, and autonomous activation – make AVIORYM an indispensable tool for continuous wildlife monitoring. This supports the Park’s mission in biodiversity conservation.

The future adoption of AVIORYM will enable Sirente-Velino Park to achieve more efficient, precise, and sustainable monitoring, representing a replicable model for other protected areas worldwide.


For more information on ADPM Drones’ innovative solutions, contact us and discover how we can help you improve monitoring in your projects.