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Projects

Using Drones to Measure Forest Health

Ambiomas' drone flight project at the monarch overwintering sites is helping develop a forest health monitoring and alert system using remote-sensing technology.

January 02, 2024

With MBF’s support, Ambiomas, a Mexican non-profit established by Salvador Huitrón (a 2022 Lincoln Brower Award recipient!) is leading a drone flight project at the monarch overwintering sites. The purpose of this project is to develop a forest health monitoring and alert system using remote-sensing technology.

In 2023 during months monarchs are not present, drones flew over sites where monarchs typically roost, using historical polygons of overwintering sites. Images of the forest were obtained from these flights and a Digital Surface Model (DSM) was developed to estimate the total number of trees present and tree density per hectare in each site.

Currently, the Ambiomas team is processing and analyzing the information collected in each flight area to determine a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) range for these oyamel trees. Once defined, this range will contribute to the development of the forest health monitoring and alerting system. Final results are expected in March 2024. This is an excellent example of how using the latest technology can help conservation efforts!

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