Using Drones to Search for Golden Eagle Carcasses

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently issued its first permit to allow take (a set number of inadvertent deaths) of golden eagles at a wind power facility. Fatality monitoring will be conducted, but accurately estimating whether the permitted take has been exceeded can only be achieved when the probability of carcass detection is high. In July 2014, USGS launched new research to investigate whether unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, can be more efficient than field surveys for detecting golden eagle carcasses. The goal is to estimate the search efficiency of the drones and determine whether vegetation type or carcass size will affect aerial detection. Oregon State University and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs collaborated with USGS to conduct the study in central Oregon.

Author Name
Manuela Huso
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