Since 2014, BioConsult SH has used high-definition aerial video technology to perform digital aerial surveys to record sea birds and marine mammals. There have been questions around the advantages and disadvantages of this method and how the results compare to those from traditional visual aerial survey flights. To answer these questions, parallel flights were carried out using the HiDef method closely followed by a visual aerial survey team. The results of this study are now published in the Journal of Ornithology.
Among other things the study shows that the digital survey provided higher numbers of bird sightings and higher spatial accuracy than the visual survey. Also, more individuals were identified to species level in the digital survey dataset for the majority of taxonomic groups. These advantages supplement other previously identified benefits of digital aerial surveys, such as the elimination of bird disturbance due to high flight altitude, reduced observer bias, and availability of raw data for quality assurance.
You can download the paper here:
Žydelis, R., Dorsch, M., Heinänen, S., Nehls, G. & Weiss, F.
Comparison of digital video surveys with visual aerial surveys for bird monitoring at sea
J Ornithol (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-018-1622-4Download documentExternal Link
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