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Accurate Non-Disturbance Population Survey Method of Nesting Colonies in the Reedbed with Georeferenced Aerial Imagery

1
Interspect Ltd., II. Rákóczi Ferenc út 42, H-2314 Halásztelek, Hungary
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Kiskunság National Park Directorate, Liszt F. u. 19, H-6000 Kecskemét, Hungary
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Moving Sand Nature Conservation Association, Matyó dűlő 46, H-6070 Izsák, Hungary
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John von Neumann Faculty of Informatics, Óbuda University, Bécsi út 96/b., H-1034 Budapest, Hungary
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2601; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20092601
Received: 27 March 2020 / Revised: 26 April 2020 / Accepted: 30 April 2020 / Published: 2 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
High altitude aerial surveys have the potential to improve disturbance-free data collection in wildlife research, but previously, bird species were not recognizable in high-altitude orthophotos. This method of aerial surveying is effective and can be repeated frequently due to its low cost; it also has the additional advantage of being able to monitor the status of protected areas. In the case of waterbirds, due to the low vegetation coverage, aerial remote sensing is an exceptionally effective technique for surveying populations and detecting nests. Aerial surveys made at low altitudes can cause serious stress for birds. The method we developed and employed is unlikely to be detected by either ground-based or nesting birds but is far more reliable compared to the low-resolution imaging methods and to the evaluation of non-georeferenced photo series. The modern sensors and photogrammetric procedures enable the use of the present method worldwide; furthermore, the large-scale ortho image-derived information has become obtainable more frequently. Direct georeferencing makes the field geodetic survey unnecessary. Orthophotos with a 0.7 cm spatial resolution allow us to reliably identify even the individuals of smaller species, and by the use of oblique images, they can be tracked from two or four different directions. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerial survey; heron colony mapping; remote sensing; population counting aerial survey; heron colony mapping; remote sensing; population counting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bakó, G.; Molnár, Z.; Szilágyi, Z.; Biró, C.; Morvai, E.; Ábrám, Ö.; Molnár, A. Accurate Non-Disturbance Population Survey Method of Nesting Colonies in the Reedbed with Georeferenced Aerial Imagery. Sensors 2020, 20, 2601.

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