Scientists Figure Out How To Count Whales … FROM SPACE!!!
by Jonathan Amos
Scientists have demonstrated a new method for counting whales from space. It uses very high-resolution satellite pictures and image-processing software to automatically detect the great mammals at or near the ocean surface.
A test count, reported in the journal Plos One, was conducted on southern right whales in the Golfo Nuevo on the coast of Argentina. The automated system found about 90% of creatures pinpointed in a manual search of the imagery.
This is a huge improvement on previous attempts at space-borne assessment, and could now revolutionise the way whale populations are estimated. Currently, such work is done through counts conducted from a shore position, from the deck of a ship or from a plane. But these are necessarily narrow in scope.
An automated satellite search could cover a much larger area of ocean and at a fraction of the cost…
(read more: BBC News)