Drones, Volume 4, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 19 articles
Cover Story (view full-size image): At the summit of the tropical Andes are the páramos, which are major water suppliers for millions of Latin American inhabitants. The páramos host more than 3,500 species, 60% of which are endemic. Unfortunately, the páramos are threatened by mining, land-use change, species invasions, and climate change. Recognizing the need to find efficient and precise ways to study the páramos on a large scale, we explored, for the first time in this ecosystem, whether drones, RGB, and hyperspectral imagery could be used to identify and map species. We found promising results, including accuracies above 98% in the manual detection of species using RGB and above 89% for automated mapping using hyperspectral imaging. The combined use of RGB and hyperspectral data offers great potential to monitor the páramos at the landscape scale and constitutes a valuable tool for their conservation. View this paper
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