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Spatial ecology of estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) nesting in a fragmented landscape

Evans, Luke ORCID:, Jones, Thomas ORCID:, Pang, Keeyen, Saimin, Silvester and Goossens, Benoit ORCID: 2016. Spatial ecology of estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) nesting in a fragmented landscape. Sensors 16 (9) , 1527. 10.3390/s16091527

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The role that oil palm plays in the Lower Kinabatangan region of Eastern Sabah is of considerable scientific and conservation interest, providing a model habitat for many tropical regions as they become increasingly fragmented. Crocodilians, as apex predators, widely distributed throughout the tropics, are ideal indicator species for ecosystem health. Drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)) were used to identify crocodile nests in a fragmented landscape. Flights were targeted through the use of fuzzy overlay models and nests located primarily in areas indicated as suitable habitat. Nests displayed a number of similarities in terms of habitat characteristics allowing for refined modelling of survey locations. As well as being more cost-effective compared to traditional methods of nesting survey, the use of drones also enabled a larger survey area to be completed albeit with a limited number of flights. The study provides a methodology for targeted nest surveying, as well as a low-cost repeatable flight methodology. This approach has potential for widespread applicability across a range of species and for a variety of study designs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: MDPI Publishing
ISSN: 1424-8220
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 September 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 11:24

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