A protocol for the aerial survey of penguin colonies using UAVs
Penguins, and many other seabirds, often nest in the open in large colonies, and so are amenable to aerial survey. UAVs offer a flexible and inexpensive method of achieving this but, to date, few published examples are available. We present a protocol for acquiring aerial images of penguin colonies using UAVs and describe simple, open-source tools for processing these into counts. Our approach is demonstrated using a case study for a penguin colony in the Falkland Islands. We discuss the advantages and limitations of UAVs for penguin surveys and make recommendations for their wider application.