Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Drones, automatic counting tools and artificial neural networks in wildlife population censusing

Citation

Marchowski, Dominik (2022), Drones, automatic counting tools and artificial neural networks in wildlife population censusing, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j6q573nfp

Abstract

1. The use of a drone to count the flock sizes of 33 species of waterbirds during the breeding and non-breeding periods was investigated.

2. In 96% of 343 cases, drone counting was successful. 18.8% of non-breeding birds and 3.6% of breeding birds exhibited adverse reactions: the former birds were flushed, whereas the latter attempted to attack the drone.

3. The automatic counting of birds was best done with ImageJ/Fiji microbiology software – the average counting rate was 100 birds in 64 seconds.

4. Machine learning using neural network algorithms proved to be an effective and quick way of counting birds – 100 birds in 7 seconds. However, the preparation of images and machine learning time is time-consuming, so this method is recommended only for large data sets and large bird assemblages.

5. The responsible study of wildlife using a drone should only be carried out by persons experienced in the biology and behaviour of the target animals.