This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Monitoring of Forestry Best Management Practices: Feasibility, Potentiality, and Framework




Rijal, Arjun

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science

Restriction Status


Restriction Type


Date Available



This study explores unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the forestry sector and evaluates the feasibility and potential of UAVs for monitoring forestry best management practices (BMPs). The review of 58 studies from 2003 to 2021 found that rotary-wing UAVs were the most used and that RGB imaging was the most widely employed technology for data collection. The most common applications of UAVs in forestry included generating high-definition maps and models, conducting forest inventory and structure assessments, detecting forest health and diseases, and monitoring forest fire activities. The study comparing the performance of UAV-live feed and UAV-created map surveys with conventional surveys found that UAV-live feed surveys were as effective as conventional surveys in all major BMP categories (correlation coefficient = 0.98). UAV-created map surveys were less effective but provide an observation record that includes a map of the site. In conclusion, UAVs have the potential to greatly improve the quality of data collection in the forestry sector and are a feasible option to monitor forestry BMPs.