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    Application of aerial photography for ecological survey and habitat management of Adélie penguins

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    Document Number:
    J.-H. Kim, H.-C. Kim, J.-I. Kim, C.-U. Hyun, J.-W. Jung, Y.-S. Kim, H. Chung and H.C. Shin
    Submitted By:
    Dr Jeong-Hoon Kim (Korea, Republic of)
    Approved By:
    Dr Seok-Gwan Choi (Korea, Republic of)

    There are some limits to the accurate counting of the total number of nests by ground survey at large scale breeding sites of penguins. To compensate for these shortcomings of the classical method, we tested the effectiveness of aerial photography for penguin monitoring at Cape Hallett. Images taken with a drone had a higher resolution than those taken by helicopter, and in the drone images, nests were more clearly distinguishable from other subjects. The drone was unable to obtain images from some of the colonies because it was difficult to access those areas located below the mountain slope, but we filled the missing parts by using photographs taken by helicopter at a high altitude. By adjusting the images’ brightness and saturation, penguin chicks could be distinguished from rocks and adults, enabling us to count the number of chicks. Aerial drone photography was also useful for pinpointing the exact location and type of wastes generated by human activities throughout Cape Hallett.