Few studies have recorded the spectral signatures of domesticated live animals and in particular few have examined wild species. Using in situ radiometry, we acquired visual and near infrared spectral signatures of wild elk (Cervus elaphus) and domesticated cattle (Bos taurus) and horses (Equus caballus). Signatures were significantly different among species across all bands with the exception of cattle and horses in the red band. Further research is needed to determine if the shallower slopes in the red-shift region of the animal signatures would allow for distinction from vegetation using various remote sensors. Application of in situ spectral signatures to remotely sensed imagery could provide an efficient method for counting wildlife.

Full citation

Terletzky P., Ramsey R.D., Neale C.M.U. (2012). Spectral Characteristics of Domestic and Wild Mammals. GIScience & Remote Sensing, 49:597-608. 10.2747/1548-1603.49.4.597.