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A standardized protocol for reporting methods when using drones for wildlife research

Barnas, A.F., Chabot, D., Hodgson, A.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-9479-3018, Johnston, D.W., Bird, D.M. and Ellis-Felege, S.N. (2020) A standardized protocol for reporting methods when using drones for wildlife research. Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, 8 (2). pp. 89-98.

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Drones are increasingly popular tools for wildlife research, but it is important that the use of these tools does not overshadow reporting of methodological details required for evaluation of study designs. The diversity in drone platforms, sensors, and applications necessitates the reporting of specific details for replication, but there is little guidance available on how to detail drone use in peer-reviewed articles. Here, we present a standardized protocol to assist researchers in reporting of their drone use in wildlife research. The protocol is delivered in six sections: Project Overview; Drone System and Operation Details; Payload, Sensor, and Data Collection; Field Operation Details; Data Post-Processing; and Permits, Regulations, Training, and Logistics. Each section outlines the details that should be included, along with justifications for their inclusion. To facilitate ease of use, we have provided two example protocols, retroactively produced for published drone-based studies by the authors of this protocol. Our hopes are that the current version of this protocol should assist with the communication, dissemination, and adoption of drone technology for wildlife research and management.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: Canadian Science Publishing
Copyright: © 2020 Canadian Science Publishing
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