Drones give a clear view of frog habitat

By Elizabeth Munding
US Department of Agriculture
May 19, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Picture an IMAX-style aerial film of a high-elevation wetland complex boasting every shade of green, from lime to emerald to olive, amid its vast landscape. Behind this image is Forest Service hydrologist Kyle Wright, his feet firmly on the ground, operating an unmanned aerial system or “drone” over this portion of Big Marsh in Oregon’s Little Deschutes River Basin. Landscape restoration has a new aerial view thanks to this scientific tool. Drones, which have been used traditionally on fire management projects, are now telling important resource stories to help scientists inform other kinds of projects, from stream restoration to timber management. …Central to the project’s purpose has been focus on one of the smaller marsh creatures—the Oregon spotted frog. The reddish-brown frog with black spots requires wetland habitats with a variety of water depths to support all its life stages. The aquatic frog is rarely found more than 6 feet from water.

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