A HELICOPTER using a thermal imaging camera will be flying low over the Central Tablelands over the next few weeks searching for feral pigs, goats and wild deer.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services has identified the animals as priority pests in the Central Tablelands Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan.
Senior biosecurity officer Kellie Arnall said it was the first time thermal imaging technology had been used in this region.
"The information we collect from the thermal imaging surveys will help us determine the baseline level of pest animal activity in this region," Ms Arnall said.
"The data will also assist with the development of local feral pest control plans when we're working with landholders, particularly to monitor and control wild deer."
The survey images will be collected at low levels, less than 100 metres from the ground. The flights will take place in daylight hours during periods of low light, generally in the early morning and late afternoon or on overcast days.
"The early morning or late afternoon timing is important because we want to detect the heat from animals, rather than picking up warmth from other objects that have been heated by the sun," Ms Arnall said.
"We anticipate the surveys could take up to a month to complete, weather permitting."
The survey flights will cover 250,000 hectares across the Central Tablelands region including locations near Orange, Molong, Cumnock, Eugowra, Cudal, Canowindra, Cowra, Woodstock, Blayney and Oberon.