Using drones for wildlife surveys isn’t new to marine wildlife research, but it’s been focused mainly on detecting the large mammals and sea turtles that break the ocean’s surface to breathe. Researchers in The Bahamas wanted to test whether they could also locate the many sharks, rays, and other species that spend time just below the ocean’s surface using small, commercially available drones. They published their findings and testing methods last month.
“We found that drones can be used to count and make species-level identifications of marine species, particularly in shallow marine environments,” lead author Enie Hensel, a Ph.D. candidate at North Carolina State University, said in a statement.
Sharks, rays, and sea turtles are both disproportionately threatened by human