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Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to assess humpback whale behavior
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Cetacean
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Aloha,

     FYI

Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to assess humpback whale behavioral responses to swim-with interactions in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga


Abstract
The Kingdom of Tonga is a one of the few countries worldwide that allow swim-with-whales tourism activities. Most of the tour operators are based in Vava’u archipelago which represents an important breeding ground for Oceania humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). This study represents an assessment of the effects of swimmer approaches on humpback whales’ behaviour using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). UAV flights took place during the 2016 and 2017 whale breeding seasons from onboard research and swim-with-whales vessels. Whales’ behavioural states (resting, travelling, surface-active, socialising, nurturing) were assessed from aerial videos and the proportions of time spent in each state in the presence and absence of swimmers were compared. Whale agonistic behaviours directed towards swimmers and the injury of a swimmer caused by a whale were documented. Results indicate that in-water tourism activities significantly altered the time spent in each behavioural state by humpback whale in Vava’u. Mother-calf pairs decreased the proportion of time spent nurturing, while the time spent travelling increased two-fold when approached by swimmers. These findings indicate a potential energy expenditure increase for humpback whale mothers and their calves in response to swim-with tourism activities in Vava’u. Moreover, whales’ behavioural responses can pose danger of injury to swimmers.

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5-5 13:09
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JetSam
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Aloha Cetacean !! Good Info ,humans are still the great grave danger not whales

Best Wishes my Friend

5-5 22:45
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JetSam
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5-5 22:49
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DAFlys
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How long were the flights?
5-6 00:14
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Cetacean
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DAFlys Posted at 5-6 00:14
How long were the flights?

Aloha DA,

     This was back in 2016 - 2017, the days of the P3 series and the introduction of the P4.  This would also be the first P4 battery, so a great flight would be 18 minutes. probably more like 15 minutes.

     I did not read the paper or download the whole paper.  I have not even been able to confirm that they were flying DJI drones.

     Be safe!

Aloha and Drone On!
5-6 01:11
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Cetacean
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JetSam Posted at 5-5 22:45
Aloha Cetacean !! Good Info ,humans are still the great grave danger not whales

Best Wishes my Friend

Aloha Sam,

     True, true.  Be safe!

Aloha and Drone On!
5-6 01:12
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DAFlys
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Cetacean Posted at 5-6 01:11
Aloha DA,

     This was back in 2016 - 2017, the days of the P3 series and the introduction of the P4.  This would also be the first P4 battery, so a great flight would be 18 minutes. probably more like 15 minutes.

Ah OK,  so they are close to the shore or flying from a boat then.
5-6 05:02
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Cetacean
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DAFlys Posted at 5-6 05:02
Ah OK,  so they are close to the shore or flying from a boat then.

Aloha DA,

     That is de rigueur for whale research.  It is much more rare to see them fly a drone from shore.  They have to be real good at hand releases and catches.  It gets dicey when they are operating from a sailboat.

     Stay safe!

Aloha and Drone On!
5-6 21:20
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