Drones, dogs helping battle invasive species in B.C.
ALBERTA ENVIRONEMENT AND PARKS / THE CANADIAN PRESS
A dog named Diesel and handler Heather McCubbin inspect a boat hull for invasive species.
By:Tamsyn BurgmannThe Canadian Press,
RICHMOND, B.C.—Field technicians on the hunt
for invasive species used to go on foot, by canoe or relied on satellite
photographs taken from outer space.
But an ecologist who dispatched a drone to
detect invaders in a British Columbia wildlife area is now recommending
more remote-controlled robots do the difficult work.
“With a drone we’re looking at pixel sizes
that are teeny tiny. The resolution is amazing. You can literally zoom
in and see all the petals on that flower,” said Catherine Tarasoff, an
adjunct professor at Thompson Rivers University.
“I’ve gotten past the steep learning curve and see the unlimited possibilities.”
Tarasoff tried out the unmanned aerial
technology last June at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, an
internationally protected wetland in south-central B.C.
The successful experiment was one of several
cutting-edge advancements showcased in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday in the
ongoing battle against invasive species. More than 150 specialists from
across the province are gathered for three days to discuss emerging
issues and learn about the latest techniques to apply in their own
“There’s way more technology involved than
there used to be,” said Gail Wallin, executive director of the Invasive
Species Council of B.C., which is hosting the forum. “We’re in a whole
new world now.”...Continue reading...