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USING DRONES FOR STUDYING FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS)

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Date Issued:
2020
Abstract/Description:
Species monitoring, population assessments, and behavioral observations of many endangered marine mammals are typically limited to surveys of animal surfacings due to the challenges of detecting and tracking individuals that usually live in remote areas. This study demonstrates the benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, as a noninvasive and low-cost method to monitor and observe Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) populations. We conducted several flights using a small multirotor drone to detect manatees in a warm-water refuge area at Round Island Riverside Park in Indian River County, Florida. Through the use of aerial videos, we confirmed three sightings of manatees. These data emphasize the potential of drone surveys to assess abundance and density as well as analyze behavioral ecology in regard to foraging strategies, habitat use, social interactions and herd structure. Using high-resolution images, individuals may be identified based on scar patterns and distinctive markings.
Title: USING DRONES FOR STUDYING FLORIDA MANATEES (TRICHECHUS MANATUS LATIROSTRIS).
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Name(s): Lenhart, Abigail , author
Moore, Jon, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University
Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Thesis
Date Created: 2020
Date Issued: 2020
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 37 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Species monitoring, population assessments, and behavioral observations of many endangered marine mammals are typically limited to surveys of animal surfacings due to the challenges of detecting and tracking individuals that usually live in remote areas. This study demonstrates the benefits of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, as a noninvasive and low-cost method to monitor and observe Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) populations. We conducted several flights using a small multirotor drone to detect manatees in a warm-water refuge area at Round Island Riverside Park in Indian River County, Florida. Through the use of aerial videos, we confirmed three sightings of manatees. These data emphasize the potential of drone surveys to assess abundance and density as well as analyze behavioral ecology in regard to foraging strategies, habitat use, social interactions and herd structure. Using high-resolution images, individuals may be identified based on scar patterns and distinctive markings.
Identifier: FA00003714 (IID)
Degree granted: Thesis (B.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, 2020.
Collection: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00003714
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU

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