Scientists count whales from above the sky
Zee Media Bureau
London: In a breakthrough that could revolutionise the way marine mammal populations are estimated, scientists have demonstrated a new method for counting the whales from above the sky.
Scientists were able to detect and count whales breeding in parts of Golfo Nuevo, Peninsula Valdes in Argentina, using Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery - alongside an image processing software.
“This is a proof of a concept study that proves whales can be identified and counted by satellite,” said lead author Peter Fretwell from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
“The ability to count whales automatically, over large areas in a cost effective way would be of great benefit to conservation efforts for this and potentially other whale species,” he added.
Future satellite platforms would provide an even higher quality imagery.
Mr Fretwell and colleagues used DigitalGlobe`s WorldView-2 platform in this study.
The study that was published in the journal PLoS ONE said that such technological advancements may also allow scientists to apply this method to many more species.
With Agency Inputs
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