Drone-based monitoring of seabirds

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In this talk I will talk about my current PhD work regarding how to use a new and emerging technique to improve our knowledge and understanding of selected Faroese seabird populations.
Motivation and background – Remote sensing and seabirds.

Seabird colonies across the Faroese archipelago are most often located with a topography characterized by challenging, near vertical or steeply sloped surfaces, which restricts access
and makes close up explorations difficult. However, understanding the dynamics of these sites is important, as they contribute with at times pockets of unique and self-sustainable
ecosystems, which is poorly explored. To this end, surveying with drones presents a key tool by enabling acquirement of photographic snapshots, which are easily repeatable over time.
Through my PhD work I am poking into the novel potentials for drones to assist in monitoring of seabird populations nesting in the challenging and rugged terrains in the Faroes.

Investigations and field work – My explorations have so far been centered at establishing suitable and broadly usable guidelines for performance of reliable and ethical drone-based
monitoring of seabirds in the Faroes. Secondly, I have explored several new approaches and methods by which drones can be employed for this type of surveying as a valuable asset for
future seabird monitoring. The main focus species of the study is northern fulmar, one of the dominating species breeding on vertical cliffs and a good model species on which to test
my survey techniques.

What is it all about?
During the session I will discuss central parts of my PhD project and some of the experiences, surprises and challenges I have encountered so far, including reconstruction of 3D models,
counting techniques and AI assisted detection (YOLO).
Period27 Sept 2023
Event typeSeminar
LocationTórshavn, Faroe IslandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Remote sensing
  • Drones
  • monitoring
  • Seabirds
  • Seabird populations
  • Northern fulmar