SARDÀ?PALOMERA, F. , BOTA, G. , VIÑOLO, C. , PALLARÉS, O. , SAZATORNIL, V. , BROTONS, L. , GOMÁRIZ, S. and SARDÀ, F. (2012), Fine?scale bird monitoring from light unmanned aircraft systems. Ibis, 154: 177-183. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01177.x
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are remote?controlled devices capable of collecting information from difficult?to?access places while minimizing disturbance. Although UAS are increasingly used in many research disciplines, their application to wildlife research remains to be explored in depth. Here, we report on the use of a small UAS to monitor temporal changes in breeding population size in a Black?headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus colony. This method makes it possible to obtain georeferenced data on nest locations without causing colony disturbance, which would not otherwise be possible via direct ground observations.