Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331740

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Use of a UAV-mounted video camera to assess feeding behavior of Raramuri Criollo cows

Author
item Nyamuryekung'e, S - New Mexico State University
item Cibils, Andres - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item Gonzalez, Alfredo

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2016
Publication Date: 7/22/2016
Citation: Nyamuryekung'e, S., Cibils, A., Estell, R.E., Gonzalez, A.L. 2016. Use of a UAV-mounted video camera to assess feeding behavior of Raramuri Criollo cows. In: Proceedings 10th International Rangeland Congress; The Future Management of Grazing and Wild Lands in a High-Tech World, July 16-22, 2016, Saskatchewan, Canada. pp. 1070-1072.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Interest in use of unmanned aerial vehicles in science has increased in recent years. It is predicted that they will be a preferred remote sensing platform for applications that inform sustainable rangeland management in the future. The objective of this study was to determine whether UAV video monitoring could be used to predict intake of food by beef cows. A series of tests were conducted in an arena with three food types and video footage was obtained with a quadcopter fitted with a digital camera. Tests were first conducted to determine if sound from the UAV altered feeding behavior. A second experiment was conducted to determine if UAV video monitoring could be used to predict intake of known amounts of food. Number and length of visits to feeders were monitored for each cow in both experiments and correlated with amount of food eaten. No effect of sound on intake was detected. Strong positive correlations were observed between feeding frequency observations from UAV video footage analysis and actual amount of food consumed from each feeder. However, battery length limited observations to approximately five minutes per flight. Further development of UAV power sources is needed to provide greater flight autonomy for use of this tool in rangeland environments.