The use of an unoccupied aerial vehicle to survey shark species over sand and rocky-reef habitats in a marine protected area

Kathryn A. Ayres, James T. Ketchum, Rogelio González-Armas, Felipe Galván-Magaña, Alex Hearn, Fernando R. Elorriaga-Verplancken, Edgar M. Hoyos-Padilla, Stephen M. Kajiura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cabo Pulmo National Park was established in 1995 and has since seen a large increase in fish biomass. An unoccupied aerial vehicle (UAV) was used to survey shallow coastal habitat in which lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris), bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) and Pacific nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma unami) were recorded. Sharks were more common in the afternoon, potentially using warmer shallow areas to behaviourally thermoregulate. This study highlights UAV surveying to be a viable tool for species identification, a limitation of previous terrestrial surveys conducted in the area.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • aerial survey
  • drone
  • elasmobranch
  • monitoring
  • UAV

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