Using Drones To Save The American Black Duck
” Black Ducks used to speckle beaches and shorelines all up and down the Eastern coast of North America. Over the past 60 years, those speckles have been disappearing.
Scientists know that the Black Ducks are not a conservation success story. Like so many other threatened species, the problem is disappearing habitat.
Now Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit focused on waterfowl conservation in North America, is planning to study which habitat in Connecticut the ducks are choosing — with the help of drones.
If successful, that land can be preserved and protected and the strategy could be used with other migratory bird species. Being able to pinpoint ducks and track them could lead conservationists to troves of more frequent, accurate and useful data with ease, they said.
“ Counting birds from the ground is difficult because they can get into vegetation and creeks and can be hard to see,” said Pat Devers, science coordinator for the Black Duck Joint Venture of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We think a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) may help us with that, but we are not sure. That is why we are testing the technology.” “