Using drones for efficient Serrated Tussock management

Using Drones for Efficient Serrated Tussock Management- by Danny Pettingill & Naomi Austin

Drones are developing at a fast rate, and the use of these tools in environmental and ecological survey and management is increasing. Central Victorian business Firetail Environments has developed techniques that provide advanced methods in weed detection using high resolution mapping and plant reflectance to develop appropriate project controls.

Firetail works with clients to undertake aerial surveys and assessments providing detailed data and observations to enhance decision making, management strategies, surveillance and treatment outcomes over short, mid and long term projects.

Using the data collected, Firetail identifies the reflective value of a target weed, in this case serrated tussock, and applies appropriate formulae to identify the target reflectance value across large areas of land. Spatial analysis is then employed to inform managers in decision making for resource allocation, budgeting and treatment.

Through high-resolution mapping, drones provide important data for analytical assessment and decision making, particularly in large weed infestations.

The accompanying image below is a distribution map of serrated tussock in a reserve north west of Melbourne, where green indicates serrated tussock, the red dots indicate the control area and the reflective index values in the top left corner. This work can be applied to hundreds of hectares and utilised for aerial drone treatment or provided to on-ground crews for targeted deployment.

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Deploying drones in the management of weed species provides an highly efficient method to assess weed presence, abundance and to identify priority areas for action or treatment. These surveillance and identification workflows optimise resource deployment, decision making and budgets ensuring more efficient treatment outcomes and sustainable environmental stewardship.

For more information visit or contact Firetail Environments Director Danny Pettingill on: 0492 823 191.

ST Treament - Clydebank
Serrated Tussock can be mapped accurately using drones, which can be very useful in management planning. Photo VSTWP