Unmanned aerial systems in conservation biology
|Título alternativo||Utilización de sistemas aéreos no tripulados en biología de la conservación|
|Author||Mulero Pázmány, Margarita|
|Director||Negro Balmaseda, Juan José|
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología|
|Abstract||Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have been used for decades in the military field, mainly for dangerous or tedious missions where it is preferable to send a vehicle equipped with sensors taking data automatically than to use ...
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have been used for decades in the military field, mainly for dangerous or tedious missions where it is preferable to send a vehicle equipped with sensors taking data automatically than to use conventional manned aircrafts. In recent years technology has advanced, the market has grown exponentially, prices have descended and the use of the systems is simpler, which has led to the incorporation of the UAS to the civilian world. UAS have proven useful in ecology related tasks, such as animals monitoring and habitats characterization and their potential for ecology has been pointed out, but to date, there are just a few studies addressing their use in conservation biology. This Ph.D. attempts to fill the gap of knowledge in the use of UAS in conservation biology. It describes for the first time the use of these systems in an immediately applicable way in impact assessment of infrastructures for wildlife and protection of endangered species. Furthermore, it presents UAS as a tool for obtaining high-resolution spatiotemporal information, which helps to understand habitat use in rapidly changing human dominated areas and demonstrates that these systems can provide information as valid as the obtained by conventional techniques on the spatial distribution of species in protected areas. The experiments performed in the frame of this Ph.D. indicate that UAS can provide useful information for conservation biology, such as high spatio-temporal resolution aerial images obtained by embarked cameras that allow to monitor the environment at the researcher¿s desired frequency and revisiting sites to perform systematic studies. The results also revealed that UAS use in conservation biology presents some constraints, mainly related with the scope of the missions, the limiting costs of the systems, operating constrains associated to weather conditions, legal limitations and the need of specialized personnel for operating the systems, as well as some limitations of data analysis related with image analysis. Overall, given the novelty of the subject and the importance it is expected to have in the near future, I consider that providing information on the capabilities and limitations of these systems, based on solid experiments in conservation biology, is not only of scientific interest but combines environmental and industry interests, which brings added value and usefulness of this Ph.D. to society.
|Cite||Mulero Pázmány, M. (2015). Unmanned aerial systems in conservation biology. (Tesis Doctoral Inédita). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla.|