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Manitoba updating technology for wildlife population surveys

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The Manitoba government says it’s updating how it assesses the province’s wildlife populations.

It said one way it collects data is through aerial population surveys, which is traditionally done by government staff on a helicopter, focusing on larger species.

Now, these surveys will use solar powered, long-range drones and infrared cameras to detect the heat signatures of various mammals, the province said. This new technology will allow staff to survey multiple populations at one time, including deer, moose, elk and caribou.

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“By harnessing the potential of modern technology and innovative new methods, the Manitoba government can collect better data in a more efficient manner to support the critical work of sustainably managing our wildlife populations,” said Jamie Moses, Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources Minister.

The government said population data is important to making decisions about wildlife conservation and management.

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Co-management opportunities with Indigenous Nations for wildlife health, collaring and survey programming are also being explored, the province said.

Annual reports for big game aerial surveys are available on the Manitoba government’s website at gov.mb.ca.

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