Scientists will use drone to test efficiency in monitoring ground squirrels


This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

News release

Taylor Cotten, 360-902-2505
Sam Montgomery, 360-688-0721

OLYMPIA – Starting May 16, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will use a drone to collect data on Washington ground squirrels in Grant and Adams counties.

Drone flights will take place exclusively on public land and may include land managed by WDFW, the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Land Management for up to two days in May. These drone flights will help WDFW biologists understand the efficiencies of using drones for wildlife surveys.

"This aerial survey will gather important data about how we can use drones to improve our monitoring efforts for ground squirrels,” said Taylor Cotten, WDFW Conservation Assessment Section Manager.

Drone flights will take place occasionally on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in compliance with all federal and state regulations.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. 

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Civil Rights Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email ( For more information, see