Estimating production in ducks : a comparison between ground surveys and unmanned aircraft surveys
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CitationPöysä, Hannu. Kotilainen, Juho. Väänänen, Veli-Matti. Kunnasranta, Mervi. (2018). Estimating production in ducks : a comparison between ground surveys and unmanned aircraft surveys. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 64, 74. 10.1007/s10344-018-1238-2.
We tested the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in duck brood surveys in boreal wetlands in Finland. We performed brood surveys at the same wetlands concurrently with ground-based point counts and using a UAS (multicopter; drone counts) equipped with a camera that produced high-quality images for identification of broods and ducklings. The number of broods did not differ between point counts and drone counts in three duck species, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), common teal (Anas crecca), and common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). The number of ducklings was higher in drone counts than in point counts in the common teal, but no such difference was found in the mallard and common goldeneye. UAS-based images seem to be useful for estimating numbers of both broods and ducklings for different duck species, although the manual processing of images is labor intensive.