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Remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) survey and habitat assessment of Ruakaka Estuary

Northland Regional Council undertook a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) survey and habitat assessment of Ruakākā Estuary. The images collected by the RPAS were used to create a digital elevation model that can be used to monitor sedimentation rates in the future. The images were also used to facilitate a detailed habitat assessment of the estuary.

The assessment included mapping the substrate and all the major habitats including: mangroves; saltmarsh; cockles; pip; wedge shell (Macamona liliana); crustacean burrows; spire shells (Zeacumantus lutulentus); and the top shell (Diloma subrostratum).