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Welcome to the interactive web schedule for the 2019 Midwest Fish & Wildlife Conference! The schedule is subject to change (as of January 22, 2019). Please check back for updates. To return to the main Conference website, go to: www.midwestfw.org.

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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES:
As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we’re expecting some presentation cancellations and will continue to update the schedule with changes as they occur.  Otherwise the conference will proceed as planned.  Current cancellations and changes are listed here.

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Monday, January 28 • 3:20pm - 3:40pm
(SYMPOSIA-02) Case Study: Using a Drone Mounted Thermal Camera to Detect Eastern Massasaugas at Jennings Environmental Education Center, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

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AUTHORS: Christine Proctor, Albert Sarvis – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology

ABSTRACT: Once a widespread and common snake, the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is protected in every state where it currently occurs and is listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The use of drones to count wildlife is increasing, however they are primarily used to quantify conspicuous endothermic species. This ongoing study is exploring the potential of drone mounted thermal imaging to increase detection of this cryptic reptile. We hypothesized that thermal imaging captured via a remotely controlled drone will increase our ability to accurately quantify eastern massasauga populations, as compared to more traditional methods. A thermal sensor mounted to a drone was manually flown over a 20-acre managed prairie with a confirmed population of eastern massasaugas in a systematic pattern at an elevation of 10 meters, providing a ground resolution of 1.85 centimeters. Two controllers were used, allowing one person to focus on flying the drone while the other closely monitored the imagery. A third person was directed to the location of a suspected snake for visual confirmation. Once visual confirmation was made, we collected temperature data for both the snake and the ambient environment using a laser thermometer. This allowed for an increased understanding of the minimal temperature difference between the snake and ground required for detection, helping to set target temperature ranges and improve overall detection. During this process we also collected data on thermal signatures of non-snake items such as small mammals, branches, ant hills, and water, helping to train observers on how to interpret the imagery at a higher accuracy. The results from this study have the potential to improve the accuracy of data collection, influencing the future of cryptic reptile detection.

Monday January 28, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm
HOPE BALLROOM B

Attendees (14)