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Review article: Thirty years of analysing and modelling avian habitat relationships using satellite imagery data: a review

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The application of remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies provides powerful tools when used to investigate wildlife and its habitat for an analysis or modelling approach. In this context, birds have been of great and progressive value as biological and environmental indicators. In order to learn about the common approaches used—its methods, processing steps, trends, advantages and challenges—over 120 representative publications of the last 30 years that made use of satellite images for avian applications have been reviewed. The reviewed studies have shown that GIS‐based analyses of satellite and bird data have been well established for efficient ecosystem descriptions and species modelling within a large range of scales and habitats. In order to improve the quality of inference and for comparative analyses, it is recommended that further studies are documented in detail. Also, in order to verify and improve the obtained results, additional ground data on the main structure of the vegetation relevant to the bird species in question are usually necessary. Satellite‐based remote sensing applications in ornithology could be used increasingly for assisting in habitat evaluation, habitat modelling and monitoring programmes and in achieving overall wildlife conservation and management objectives effectively. This is especially true for remote regions of the world that are difficult to access where few habitat studies have been undertaken to date but whose study is urgently needed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Vechta, Institute for Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 1553, 49364 Vechta, Germany

Publication date: 2005-06-20

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