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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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December 04, 2018
Contact: Jon Gallie 509-754-4624

Researchers will use drone to collect
data on Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits

OLYMPIA – Researchers working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over pygmy rabbit reintroduction sites located in Beezley Hills, Grant County and portions of the Sagebrush Flat Wildlife Area in Douglas County.

Flights will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are anticipated to take place before the end of February 2019. Flight timing will depend on the presence of adequate snow on the ground and suitable flight conditions.

The purpose of the flights is to test drone capabilities and effectiveness for tracking pygmy rabbit distribution and numbers in snowy conditions. Researchers will also use the drone to help determine the survival rate of reintroduced animals.

Collection of imagery by drone holds the potential to gather species distribution data in a safer and more efficient way than current methods.

For more on pygmy rabbit recovery efforts, please visit