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The rise of unmanned aircraft in wildlife science : a review of potential contributions and their application to waterbird research

Author: Dominique Chabot
Publisher: [Montreal] : McGill University Libraries, [2014]
Dissertation: Ph. D. McGill University 2014, eScholarship id: 123049
Series: Department of Natural Resource Sciences.; Thesis.; McGill theses.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
"The field of wildlife research and management tends to benefit from technological innovations such as remote sensing techniques that help to overcome the many challenges of studying and monitoring wild, free-ranging animals and their habitats. A new variety of remote sensing devices, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has recently become available for public and commercial use, promising to offer further support to
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Details

Genre/Form: Electronic thesis or dissertation
Academic theses
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Dominique Chabot
OCLC Number: 911043114
Notes: Thesis supervisor: David M Bird (Supervisor).
Description: 1 online resource
Series Title: Department of Natural Resource Sciences.; Thesis.; McGill theses.
Responsibility: Dominique Chabot.

Abstract:

"The field of wildlife research and management tends to benefit from technological innovations such as remote sensing techniques that help to overcome the many challenges of studying and monitoring wild, free-ranging animals and their habitats. A new variety of remote sensing devices, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has recently become available for public and commercial use, promising to offer further support to wildlife science. Although a growing variety of preliminary efforts to apply UAS in the discipline have been undertaken, the technology is yet to gain any significant traction in practice. The overall aim of this project is to help stimulate and guide the adoption of UAS in wildlife science by taking a distinctly rigorous, contextualized and integrated approach. This is accomplished by first presenting a detailed analysis of potential applications for UAS throughout the field of wildlife science based on the results of a systematic review of the current primary literature. Two case studies involving waterbirds are then presented which serve to evaluate, validate and demonstrate the use of a small UAS in genuine management-driven contexts. The first case study, involving the least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), highlights the benefits of the UAS for collecting fine-scale habitat data in a wetland habitat that is challenging to navigate and assess at ground level. The second case study, involving the common tern (Sterna hirundo), demonstrates the advantages of using a UAS for studying and monitoring species that are highly sensitive to investigator disturbance. The examples provided by these case studies as well as the additional applications proposed in the review suggest far-reaching potential for UAS in wildlife science."--

"Le domaine de l'étude et la gestion de la faune tend à tirer profit des innovations technologiques telles que les techniques de télédétection qui aident à surmonter les nombreux défis reliés à l'étude et au suivi des animaux sauvages et de leurs habitats. Un nouveau type d'instruments de télédétection, les systèmes d'aéronef sans pilote (UAS), est récemment devenu disponible pour usage public et commercial, promettant d'assister davantage les sciences fauniques. Bien qu'une variété croissante de tentatives préliminaires d'application de UAS dans le domaine ont été entreprises, la technologie tarde à percer dans la pratique générale. Cette thèse a pour but d'aider à stimuler et guider l'adoption des UAS dans les sciences fauniques en employant une approche distinctement rigoureuse, contextualisée et intégrée. Cela est accompli dans un premier temps en présentant un compte rendu détaillé des applications potentielles des UAS à travers le domaine des sciences fauniques, se basant sur les résultats d'un examen systématique de la littérature primaire actuelle. Dans un second temps, deux études de cas sur des oiseaux aquatiques sont présentées, servant à évaluer, valider et démontrer l'usage d'un UAS compact dans des contextes de gestion réels. La première étude de cas, sur le petit blongios (Ixobrychus exilis), met en valeur les bénéfices du UAS pour la collecte de données d'habitat à fine résolution dans un milieu humide difficile à parcourir et inventorier au sol. La seconde étude, sur la sterne pierregarin (Sterna hirundo), met en valeur les avantages du UAS pour l'étude et le suivi d'espèces très sensibles au dérangement causé par les chercheurs. Les exemples fournis par ces études de cas ainsi que les applications additionnelles proposées dans le compte rendu suggèrent un potentiel d'envergure pour les UAS dans les sciences fauniques."--

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