Invasive Species Mapping – Yellow Flag Iris
Canadian Wildlife Service – Vaseux Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary, BC
The Vaseux Lake Migratory Bird Sanctuary is located at the north end of Vaseux Lake, between Okanagan Falls and Oliver, in the Southern Okanagan region of British Columbia. The sanctuary is home to a variety of bird species such as trumpeter Swans, ducks, coots, grebes, Lewi’s woodpecker, and western screech owl.
As with many lakes in British Columbia, Vaseux Lake is in jeopardy due to yellow flag iris, an invasive flowering plant that easily spreads through ditches, wetlands, streams, lake shorelines, and shallow ponds. The Canadian Wildlife Service has been treating areas within the sanctuary, with the hopes of eliminating it. Mapping the location of the Yellow Flag Iris has traditionally been completed by canoeing the Okanagan River and the north end of Vaseux Lake. This method has proven to be time consuming and introduces the risk of not locating all the locations of the plant, allowing it to remain un-treated and spread.
Cabin Resource Management was contracted to capture high-resolution imagery to help locate and identify patches of yellow flag iris. To achieve this, Cabin deployed a rotary based drone and conducted a lowaltitude survey that resulted in over 4000 individual images being collected. These images were stitched together to create one ortho-rectified image that was used in GIS software to create polygon boundaries of the yellow flag iris.
To facilitate sharing and collaboration, the ortho image and polygons were presented in a tailor-made web application that allowed users the ability to navigate the project site and view the areas that required treatment.
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Nelson, British Columbia
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