Remote Sensing in support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Surveys Branch

Science Center Objects

The Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center and the USFWS Migratory Bird Surveys Branch continue to partner on remote sensing projects that document and describe our natural resources, including flight planning, image acquisition, and image processing support for both waterfowl and wildlife surveys and for vegetation mapping projects.

The Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center (UMESC) and the USFWS Migratory Bird Surveys Branch (MBSB) continue to partner on remote sensing projects that document and describe our natural resources. Including flight planning, image acquisition, and image processing support for both waterfowl and wildlife surveys and for vegetation mapping projects.

This partnership extends to the evaluation, integration, and use of specialized sensors needed to detect, identify, and count multiple species of waterfowl and wildlife in a variety of habitats. MBSB currently maintains two remotes sensing platforms, a Kodiak Quest, which is the primary platform, and a Partenavia P68 Observer.

The Kodiak Quest remote sensing tools include:

  • A 100-megapixel 4-band camera system used for waterfowl surveys and vegetation mapping
  • A cooled, high-definition midwave (3.0 – 5.0 μm) dual thermal infrared camera system for waterfowl and wildlife surveys

A seven-sensor array is in development that can collect 1-centimeter/pixel imagery of Great Lakes and Atlantic waterfowl for classification using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology

 

Thermal infrared image of Sandhill cranes on the Platte River

Thermal imagery of Sandhill cranes collected at 1,000 feet above ground level on April 4, 2016

(Credit: Brian Lubinkski, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Public domain.)

4 Band image of nesting gulls and cormorants on small island off the coast of Maine Caption/Detailed description – Natural color

4 Band image of nesting gulls and cormorants on small island off the coast of Maine

Caption/Detailed description – Natural color and color infrared image of nesting birds collected at 1,000’ above ground level on June 1, 2019

(Credit: Jim Wortham (USFWS) and Larry Robinson (USGS). Public domain.)