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Long-distance photogrammetric trait estimation in free-ranging animals: A new approach

AutorWillisch, C. S.; Marreros, Nelson
Palabras clavePhotogrammetry
Alpine ibex
Repeatability analysis
Trait estimation
Remote measurement
Fecha de publicación2013
CitaciónMammalian Biology 78(5): 351-355 (2013)
ResumenThe acquisition of accurate information on the size of traits in animals is fundamental for the study of animal ecology and evolution and their management. We demonstrate how morphological traits of free-ranging animals can reliably be estimated on very large observation distances of several hundred meters by the use of ordinary digital photographic equipment and simple photogrammetric software. In our study, we estimated the length of horn annuli in free-ranging male Alpine ibex (Capra ibex) by taking already measured horn annuli of conspecifics on the same photographs as scaling units. Comparisons with hand-measured horn annuli lengths and repeatability analyses revealed a high accuracy of the photogrammetric estimates. If length estimations of specific horn annuli are based on multiple photographs measurement errors of <5.5. mm can be expected. In the current study the application of the described photogrammetric procedure increased the sample size of animals with known horn annuli length by an additional 104%. The presented photogrammetric procedure is of broad applicability and represents an easy, robust and cost-efficient method for the measuring of individuals in populations where animals are hard to capture or to approach.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2013.02.004
issn: 1616-5047
e-issn: 1618-1476
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