The ability to connect elevation and habitat characteristics used by wintering shorebirds has been identified as beneficial to conservation and restoration planning by management entities such as the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wintering bird habitat and species monitoring fieldwork at Dauphin Island, Alabama
To address this need and support decisions in barrier island management, the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center, and the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center are collaborating on an effort to develop a probabilistic model that can predict wintering bird use based on habitat characteristics. A field data collection campaign is planned for December, 2018 as part of monthly monitoring in support of that effort. Data collected will include UAS-based imagery that will be used to determine elevation and habitat characteristics; in situ vegetation and elevation data; and a wintering bird census. These data will also be used to advance techniques in deriving habitat data from UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems).
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