[MARMAM] Publication on drone-based photogrammetry of manatees

Eric Angel Ramos eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com
Mon Apr 18 19:06:04 PDT 2022

Greetings MARMAM,

I am pleased to announce the publication of our newest article “Drone-based
photogrammetry assessments of body size and body condition of Antillean
manatees” in *Mammalian Biology.*

*Abstract *
Assessments of individual animal health alerts to early signs of population
level effects in wildlife but often rely on logistically complex wild
animal captures, hindering our understanding of the wellbeing of
populations in regions with limited resources. Here, we tested
photogrammetry methods using small aerial drones for accurate morphometric
measurements of Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) body size
and body condition. We flew drones to collect aerial imagery of captive
manatees in Quintana Roo, Mexico and compared manatee body size
measurements from scaled aerial imagery with physically measured body
sizes. To assess optimal altitude for imaging, body size measurements
acquired with an out-of-the-box drone were compared to measurements from
the same drone model equipped with a LiDAR for precision altimetry flown at
three altitudes (30 m, 50 m, 70 m). The accuracy of body size measures was
similar for all drone models but improved with the addition of LiDAR.
Difference in body size estimates between manual and drone-based
measurements indicate a correction factor may be needed to account for
disparities. We then used body size measurements to develop a body
condition index for Antillean manatees. Our findings highlight the strength
of low-cost aerial drones for morphometric measurements and assessments of
manatee body condition.

Ramos, E.A., Landeo-Yauri, S., Castelblanco-Martinez, D., Renee Areola, M.,
Quade, A., Rieucau, G. (2022). Drone-based photogrammetry assessments of
Antillean manatee body size and body condition. *Mammalian Biology*.

If you would like a copy of the article, feel free to email me (
eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com) or the corresponding author Guillaume Rieucau (
grieucau at lumcon.edu).

Best regards,

*Eric Angel Ramos, Ph.D.*
Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Rockefeller University
Scientist at FINS (Fundación Internacional para la Naturaleza y la
Student Member-At-Large for the Society for Marine Mammalogy
Member of the IUCN SSC Sirenian Specialist Group for Mesoamerica
www.finsconservation.org <https://finsconservation.org/>
E-mail: eric.angel.ramos at gmail.com/ eramos at rockefeller.edu
Cell/WhatsApp <https://wa.me/13473365567>: +1-347-336-5567 (USA)
Skype: ericangelramos
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