Remote Sensing 2017-09-27T20:31:39+00:00


The ability to remotely monitor changes in the landscape via drone or satellite imagery and combine this information with ecological datasets has revolutionized the field of conservation biology. With incredibly poor public imagery available for the region surrounding the Jama-Coaque Reserve, in 2015 Third Millennium Alliance began pursuing the use of drone technology. The resolution of the imagery obtained from our drone flights is measured in centimeters rather than meters. Having access to such high resolution imagery across the landscape allows us to determine landscape-level factors that may be influencing the distribution and abundance of species. Moving forward we will be continuing our use of drone technology to document seasonal and long-term changes in the landscape, including factors relating to tree phenology, micro-climate, productivity and forest disturbance. We are excited to continue the pursuit of remote sensing technology moving forward and hope to share our expertise with conservation partners across Ecuador.


  • Classify the land use-land cover (LULC), and create an orthomosaic and digital surface model using multispectral aerial imagery acquired for the Jama-Coaque Reserve with our Conservation Drone
  • Improve the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for the entire Important Bird Area
  • Develop index maps, NDVI, and orthomosaics, to be used for assessment, analyses, and validation of ecological research objectives
  • Identify any correlations between vegetation indices and measured microclimate within LULC regions along an elevational gradient
  • Combine remote sensing data with existing data sets to create habitat suitability models
  • Document forest recovery over time with active reforestation efforts and seasonal drone flights


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