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Using UAS capabilities to help identify hummock-hollow formation and fragmentation in critical marsh habitat (Spartina patens) for mottled ducks in southeast Texas

July 24, 2019

For many years, marshes in the coastal areas from Texas to Louisiana have served as critical habitat for Anas fulvigula, the mottled duck. Mottled ducks are a priority species in the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast area and have been affected by critical habitat reduction. In recent years, mottled duck habitats have been threatened by natural and anthropogenic changes including urbanization, flooding, saltwater intrusion, and hydrologic alterations. These impacts are affecting the quality of habitat that is essential for the mottled duck nesting, feeding, and livelihood. Cumulative and synergistic effects of contamination and invasive species encroachment have also caused mottled duck habitat to be considered as some of the most critically endangered habitats in the United States. To help understand the environmental conditions that characterize the coastal landscape, U.S. Geological Survey researchers used an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to acquire high-resolution imagery to document current land and water spatial configuration and wetland health at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Texas.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Using UAS capabilities to help identify hummock-hollow formation and fragmentation in critical marsh habitat (<i>Spartina patens</i>) for mottled ducks in southeast Texas
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191045
Authors William R. Jones, Stephen B. Hartley, Camille L. Stagg, Michael J. Osland
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1045
Index ID ofr20191045
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wetland and Aquatic Research Center