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Drones count wildlife more accurately and precisely than humans

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Hodgson, JC, Mott, R, Baylis, SM, Pham, TT, Wotherspoon, S ORCID: 0000-0002-6947-4445, Kilpatrick, AD, Raja Segaran, R, Reid, I, Terauds, A and Koh, LP 2018 , 'Drones count wildlife more accurately and precisely than humans' , Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 9, no. 5 , pp. 1160-1167 , doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12974.

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Abstract

Human activities are creating environmental conditions that pose threats and present opportunities for wildlife. In turn, this creates challenges for conservation managers. Some species have benefited from anthropogenic actions. For example, many invasive species profit from human‐assisted dispersal (Banks, Paini, Bayliss, & Hodda, 2015; Hulme, 2009), and mesopredators may thrive following human‐driven loss of top predators (Ritchie & Johnson, 2009). However, in many cases, wildlife populations are undergoing alarming declines, and extinction rates are now as high as 100‐fold greater than the background extinction rate (Ceballos et al., 2015). Ecological monitoring is essential for understanding these population dynamics, and rigorous monitoring facilitates informed management. The effectiveness of management decision‐making is often dependent on the accuracy and timeliness of the relevant ecological data upon which decisions are based, meaning that improvements to data collection methods may herald improved ecological outcomes from management actions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hodgson, JC and Mott, R and Baylis, SM and Pham, TT and Wotherspoon, S and Kilpatrick, AD and Raja Segaran, R and Reid, I and Terauds, A and Koh, LP
Keywords: bird, drones, ecology, population monitoring, remotely piloted aircraft, surveys, unmanned aerial vehicle, wildlife
Journal or Publication Title: Methods in Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
ISSN: 2041-210X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/2041-210X.12974
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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