status, sex or age class in a well-studied bottlenose dolphin population in Scotland. We carried out five boat-based surveys in July and August 2017, with concurrent photo identification, UAS, and laser photogrammetry. Photographs were measured using bespoke programmes, MorphMetriX for UAS photos and a Zooniverse project for laser photos. In total 64 dolphins were identified using photo-ID, 54 of which had concurrent UAS body length and 47 with laser body length measurements. We also measured body widths at 10% increments from 10-90% of body length for 48 individuals of known sex, age class and/or pregnancy status. There was no significant difference in the length of individuals measured with UAS and laser photogrammetry. Discriminant analyses of the body width-length ratios expected to change during pregnancy, correctly assigned pregnancy status for 14 of the 15 females of known pregnancy status. Only one pregnant female was incorrectly assigned as not pregnant. However, our results showed that length and body width cannot accurately allocate these bottlenose dolphins to sex or age class using photogrammetry techniques alone. The present study illustrates that UAS and laser photogrammetry measurements are comparable for small cetaceans and demonstrates that UAS measurements of body width-length ratio can accurately assign pregnancy status in bottlenose dolphins.
Survey work was conducted under NatureScot AnimalScientific Licences. University of Aberdeen, NatureScot,Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd., Moray Offshore Renew-ables Ltd., Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate and High-lands and Islands Enterprise provided funding for photo-identification surveys during 2017. Salary support for J.D. was provided by the MaRRS Laboratory (MarineRobotics and Remoting Sensing Laboratory). We thankDavid Johnston for providing valuable comments on thismanuscript. Many thanks to all the funders and colleagueswho have helped collect data for this long-term study.Thanks also to the two anonymous reviewers for provid-ing positive and valuable comments and suggestions
- unoccupied aerial system
- bottlenose dolphin
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Cheney, B. (Creator), Dale, J. (Creator), Thompson, P. (Creator) & Quick, N. (Creator), Zenodo, 2022
Cheney, B. (Contributor), Dale, J. (Contributor), Thompson, P. (Contributor) & Quick, N. (Contributor), DRYAD, 1 Jan 2021