This paper addresses a vision-based cooperative search for multiple mobile ground targets by a group of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with limited sensing and communication capabilities. The airborne camera on each UAV has a limited field of view and its target discriminability varies as a function of altitude. First, by dividing the whole surveillance region into cells, a probability map can be formed for each UAV indicating the probability of target existence within each cell. Then, we propose a distributed probability map updating model which includes the fusion of measurement information, information sharing among neighboring agents, information decay and transmission due to environmental changes such as the target movement. Furthermore, we formulate the target search problem as a multi-agent cooperative coverage control problem by optimizing the collective coverage area and the detection performance. The proposed map updating model and the cooperative control scheme are distributed, i.e., assuming that each agent only communicates with its neighbors within its communication range. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms is illustrated by simulation.