Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Census of seabirds – strategic method development

The section of wildlife ecology has many years’ experience in counting seabirds from aircrafts. The counts are often related to EIA - submissions (Environmental Impact Assessments). An EIA is required, e.g. when installing wind farms at sea, where the impact of the wind farm on seabird populations in the area must be assessed. In order to do this, it is necessary to gather information on which species are present as well as how many individuals there are and where they are distributed. Counts from aircraft take place from a small aircrafts where a team of observers systematically search the area and record the presence of all species within the study area. It is a resource-intensive method both for the aerial surveys and for the subsequent manual data processing. The section has worked purposely towards streamlining and automating data collection in order to reduce labour consumption and complete the counts in less time. The section has focused on developing a semi-automatic system to count seabirds based on digital image (ortho photos) processing.

Consensus of seabirds "Classic"

Manual consensus of seabirds on digital images

Consensus using object-oriented image analysis