Three bright young students currently finishing their undergraduate environmental science degrees have joined the Hamilton Ecology Lab as capstone students for 2015. Sam, Lille and Russ will be working on a project together looking at the potential of infrared thermography as a tool for minimising errors in detection and identification of population abundances. Great to have you on board! See below for a short description of the project.
Evaluating accuracy of infrared thermography to estimate animal abundance
Established methods of animal population estimation, such as mark/recapture and visual counts, have been shown to produce high rates of error (Tyre et al., 2003). They also require high intensity sampling, which often necessitates a high cost of financial and time resources . Preliminary studies utilizing Infrared Thermography have been shown to produce more reliable counts of target animal species and therefore yield more accurate population estimates than visual counts. This project aims to provide insight into factors that influence detection of small and medium sized mammals and birds using Infrared Thermography. This should increase the utility of this technology to assist with population modelling for Australian birds and mammals, while providing benefits to the fields of urban planning and conservation.