Pulse

By GCN Staff

Blog archive
Can drones save the black-footed ferret?

Can drones save the black-footed ferret?

The Fish and Wildlife Service could soon be using drones to drop vaccine-coated food pellets to black-footed ferrets in Montana.

Listed as an endangered species since 1967, the black-footed ferret is and considered one of North America’s rarest mammals, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has been working to help the population recover.

After considering various methods of distributing a vaccine to the sylvatic plague, which affects the ferrets and prairie dogs, the ferrets’ primary food, FWS biologist Randy Machett realized that an unmanned aerial system dropping vaccine-laced bait could treat an acre in less than a minute.  Drones offer “potentially the most efficient, effective, cost-conscious and environmentally friendly method of application,” according to the environmental assessment.

Machett told The Guardian that a “glorified gumball machine” could be attached to a drone, which would use GPS to shoot out vaccines at 30-ft intervals, potentially treating 200 acres in an hour.

Most of the feedback during a public comment period was “highly supportive” of the plan, Manchett said. He hopes the drone-delivered vaccine plan will be approved by FWS and be operational by September, he added.

Posted by GCN Staff on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:53 AM


Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.