It’s so exciting to see Quantum Spatial’s LiDAR data come to fruition in helping wildlife biologists and forest managers better understand coastal old-growth canopy structure and habitat for elusive listed species such as the Marbled Murrelet! Similar to the Spotted Owl, these birds depend on old-growth forest and prefer large trees and complex multiple layers of canopy foliage at heights beyond the reach of field biologists. Until LiDAR, there has been no objective and repeatable way of estimating available habitat and predicting the occurrence of nesting birds. Using LiDAR data collected in 2008 by Quantum SpatiaI for the BLM and Oregon LiDAR Consortium along the southern Oregon Coast, Wildlife ecologists Joan Hagar, Patricia Haggerty (USGS, Corvallis, OR) and Dave Vesely (Oregon Wildlife Institute) have illustrated the power of LiDAR to accurately characterize and map murrelet habitat and predict nesting birds’ occurrence. This is a great advancement in wildlife management for a complex 3-D habitat that until now has been essentially inaccessible to field biologists and forest managers who are used to using traditional methods of measuring basal area, timber volume and endlessly craning their necks to quantify murrelet habitat. Hagar and colleagues highly recommend using LiDAR as a predictive tool for the occurrence of other threatened and endangered forest-dwelling species.
Quantum Spatial has a legacy of developing analytics to aid conservation efforts through the assessment of wildlife habitat. Check out an overview of what we provide for environmental sciences and natural resource management.
Read the full article in GIM International: HERE