Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) are proposed as a useful alternative to manned aircraft for some aerial wildlife surveys. We described the components and current capabilities of a small UAS developed specifically for wildlife and ecological surveys that is currently in field use for a variety of applications. We also reviewed government regulations currently affecting the use of UASs in civilian airspace. Information on capabilities and regulations will be valuable for agencies and individuals interested in the potential UASs offer for monitoring wildlife populations and their habitat. Descriptions of current uses and recommendations for future employment will be helpful in implementing this technology efficiently for aerial surveys as the civilian sector begins to adopt UASs for peacetime missions.
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