Using Mobile GIS for Wildlife Management

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Early spring is the beginning of land management for many landowners. Prescribed burns, mending fences after a stormy winter, wrapping up a hunting season checking harvest reports, and turning over the ground to plant for summer are all little details that create a long project list for farmers, hunters, and large landowners.

Wildlife management is a key part of owning a farm, or a piece of hunting property. Managing land the correct way can increase the value of a property, provide animals with habitat and food, and it is ideal for outdoor recreation.

Seeing the land from a birds eye view, with the ability to collect information, manage the natural assets, and determine what project needs to be done next is very important. Until mobile GIS, it was print out a map, grab a pen and pad, and bring a camera to collect this information.

Losing a project list out the truck window while driving down the county road to the nearest hardware store happens, not having the camera charger in the truck for when you need to snap a picture of wild hog or storm damage to report to the insurance company happens, and 11 different maps with scribbles all over gets hard to read after a while.

Mobile GIS only requires a smartphone or mobile device to get the job done easier and faster. There are also some features within mobile GIS that can help get a job done more efficiently.

Lets say a farmer wanted to create ponds for his cattle, but also wanted to divert drainage into an area of flooded timber for duck hunting in the winter when the rains get high.

The farmer could pull out his Wolf GIS app, measure the area of the pond, and then measure an area of flooded timber twice or three times as big (depending on the depth) that outlines the area he wants to hunt, plant, and drain flood waters away from his cow pond.

Farmer Fran could even measure the distance the levees must be, to see how it looks on his farm, what these levees might cost him, and what they may do to other areas of his farm. He also knows he has to put a fence up, which he can measure on the app, to keep the cows out of his duck hole. This will give him the length of wire, and how many posts he may need.

Many of the features in mobile GIS, cannot be done on a paper map, or even Google maps.

What if Farmer Fran needs to keep track of an area devoted to a wildlife area, that he gets taxes taken off of every year, or gets money to steward from a wildlife organization. He needs to be able to consistently update the trees he planted, the bird houses he put up, or anything he invested his time into to improve this habitat. Mobile GIS gives him the ability to take notes, pictures, and point out specific areas of interest that are valuable assets to him and this wildlife area.

Wildlife management as seen from mobile GIS can increase the value of a property, get projects done faster, accomplish more, and even help bring in that big buck of a lifetime.

Want to know more? Want to get your land ready for wildlife this season? Check out the apps, and contact us at www.wolf-tek.com

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