Estimating total length and body condition
An Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or a “drone” will be used to capture high resolution images of whales from the air that will be measured using a technique called aerial photogrammetry. It has proved to be a powerful non-invasive method to collect information on how long or how healthy individual whales in other parts of the world.
Knowing the length of humpback whales will help determine whether they are immature or adult off Ireland. Globally, whales returning to their feeding grounds have been increasingly recorded in poor body condition. Ireland is a feeding ground for humpbacks, so it is important to establish the body condition of whales in Ireland and monitor how this might change over the time they are in Ireland and between years. A “drone” will be flown under licence to capture this important information.
<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-12416″ src=”https://iwdg.ie/cms_files/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/drone-1.jpg” alt=”” width=”476″ height=”598″ https://iwdg.ie/cms_files/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/drone-1-80×100.jpg”>https://iwdg.ie/cms_files/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/drone-1-80×100.jpg 80w” />
 Christiansen, F., Dujon, A.M., Sprogis, K.R., Arnould, J.P.Y. and Bejder, L. (2016). Noninvasive unmanned aerial vehicle provides estimates of the energetic cost of reproduction in humpback whales. Ecosphere 7(10):e01468.10.1002/ecs2.1468
Please see the examples of humpback whale “drone” footage below: