High resolution digital video aerial surveys are a new method for collecting distribution and relative abundance data on animals. HiDef Aerial Surveying. Ltd., a company that developed this approach in the United Kingdom, conducted the surveys for this study. Our study was the first to use these methods on a broad scale in the U.S.
Download Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Studies: Distribution and Abundance of Wildlife along the Eastern Seaboard 2012-2014. This 32-page summary publication explores aspects of the mid-Atlantic ecosystem; describes our survey and analytical approaches; and presents a range of results, featuring several case studies on specific species or phenomena.
The Executive Summary for the technical report is also available here.
Surveys were flown in small twin-engine airplanes at 250 km/hr and an altitude of 610 m, which is much faster and higher than traditional visual aerial surveys (flown at altitudes of 60-180 m). Flying at this higher altitude is safer for the flight crew and less disruptive to the animals being counted. We conducted 15 surveys over two years (March 2012–May 2014) along 2,857 km of transects (3,601 including the expansion in Maryland). Four belly-mounted cameras recorded video data, resulting in a 200 m wide transect.
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