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A rapid UAV method for assessing body condition in fur seals

Allan, Blake, Ierodiaconou, Daniel, Hoskins, Andrew J. and Arnould, John 2019, A rapid UAV method for assessing body condition in fur seals, Drones, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.3390/drones3010024.

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Title A rapid UAV method for assessing body condition in fur seals
Author(s) Allan, BlakeORCID iD for Allan, Blake orcid.org/0000-0003-0101-3412
Ierodiaconou, DanielORCID iD for Ierodiaconou, Daniel orcid.org/0000-0002-7832-4801
Hoskins, Andrew J.
Arnould, JohnORCID iD for Arnould, John orcid.org/0000-0003-1124-9330
Journal name Drones
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Article ID 24
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2019-03-06
ISSN 2504-446X
Keyword(s) body condition
axillary girth
Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus)
Summary Condition indices correlating body lipid content with mass and morphometric measurements have been developed for a variety of taxa. However, for many large species, the capture and handling of enough animals to obtain representative population estimates is not logistically feasible. The relatively low cost and reduced disturbance effects of UAVs make them ideal for the rapid acquisition of high volume data for monitoring large species. This study examined the imagery collected from two different UAVs, flown at 25 m altitude, and the subsequent georeferenced orthomosaics as a method for measuring length and axillary girth of Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) to derive an index of body condition. Up to 26% of individuals were orientated correctly (prostrate/sternal recumbent) to allow for body measurements. The UAV-obtained images over-estimated axillary girth diameter due to postural sag on the lateral sides of the thorax while the animals are lying flat in the sternal recumbent position on granite rocks. However, the relationship between axillary girth and standard length was similarly positive for the remotely- and physically-obtained measurements. This indicates that residual values from the remotely-obtained measurements can be used as a relative index of body condition.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/drones3010024
Indigenous content off
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, the authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30143450

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.