One of the recommendations for future work from the 2008 Predator Survey Workshop was ‘....that alternative census methods for large (penguin) colonies may be helpful. Such methods include the use of satellite imagery and the use of GPS receivers to accurately map colony areas from which abundance could be estimated given known information on nest density within colonies...’ This paper uses virtual simulation in a GIS environment to explore how the recommended area/density approach can be optimally designed when abundance estimates are required for large colonies or over large scales. The approach is illustrated using a case study of a large-scale ground survey of Adélie penguins. The findings implications for optimising designs over much larger areas using alternate platforms such as satellites and aircraft.
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