Unmanned aircraft to survey wildlife habitat

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — Researchers in eastern Idaho plan to use unmanned robotic aircraft starting Sunday to get high-resolution digital images of sagebrush habitats.

“When we take ground measurements it’s over a small area,” said Janet Rachlow, an ecology professor at the University of Idaho. “But we are interested in scaling up what we learn about individual plants and animals to a large scale that is useful for land management and management of wildlife populations overall.”

The aerial photos will also be used in a large study on pygmy rabbits, as well as to learn how animals react to temperature and predators.

Also participating in the project are Boise State University, Washington State University and the University of Florida, the Post Register reported (http://www.postregister.com/node/56588 ).

The research team plans to be in Lemhi County for about two weeks with the unmanned flights going through June 23.

“The end goal is to understand what makes a good habitat for these animals,” Rachlow said. “We have to have a better understanding of what is a good habitat if we are to help restore it after a wildfire or incursions of foreign plants.”

The University of Idaho’s participation is part of an effort to create a Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Systems at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls. The unmanned aerial systems center, should it be created, will work toward finding ways to bring unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace.

A company called Advanced Aviation Solutions, a consulting company, is working with Idaho researchers to establish the center.

“We want to represent all the (unmanned air) research that is done for Idaho — water, agriculture, wildlife, ranching, reservoirs and more,” company CEO Steve Edgar said in a news release.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
A local connection to history

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson remembers The Post’s Katharine Graham, who visited several times.

Most Read