Various state governments in the country are making conscious efforts to increase the forestland area by manually planting trees through various state-run programs. But a team of scientist from the Department of Aerodynamics in Bengaluru has come out with an idea to restore forestland by using drones and seed bombs saving number of hours of manual intervention.
The team, which is working in partnership with the Karnataka Department of Forest, will use a drone to efficiently dispense seeds, faster than any human would be able to, whilst recording and mapping the project so that it can be studied for impact. The project is currently in the experimental phase of the operation.
The targeted area of land is spread around the Doddaballapur hill range, north of Bengaluru. The team is optimistic, and estimates that the drone could restore an area of 10,000 acres of forest with three seed bombings over a period of three years.
For many years, Gauribidanur in Karnataka has laid barren after being stripped of all life as a result of deforestation. The onboard camera on the drone ensures that the operation can be recorded and monitored. The team plans to deploy the drone on three occasions and study the images collected so that they are able to track the impact of the seeding.
Meanwhile, seed-bombing is a technique of planting trees by embedding organic seed balls in the ground. The advantage of using seed bombs is that they do not need to be completely buried in the ground in order for them to germinate. To increase the odds of germination, the seeds being used for the operation will be wrapped in manure and soil, prepared by the Department of Forests in Kolar.