Evaluation of damage, made by wild animals to agricultural fields, using different methods
Keywords: wild animals, damage, quadcopter drone, measurements in loco, high-resolution images
AbstractThe paper presents experimental studies of different techniques (measurements directly in the sample plots and remote measurements, such as high-resolution satellite images or images made by a quadcopter drone) for estimation of damage, made by wild ungulates in agricultural fields. The practical experience gained during the research was analysed. It has been found that for the assessment of the damage caused by wild ungulates, the most suitable layout of sample plots is systematic, covering the whole area evenly. When the sample plots covered 0.2% of the total surveyed area, the error of the estimated wildlife damage was in a range of ±3.8%; when the sample plots covered 0.3% of the total surveyed area, the error of the estimated wildlife damage was in a range of ±2.1%. The measurements of 10 sample plots in loco took 33–40 min, with a team of three assessors. Evaluation works done with a quadcopter drone are faster (10 ha field shot in 20 min and analysis of data in 40 min) and require only one specialist to operate the drone. It was proved that high-resolution satellite images, done in Sentinel missions, are not suitable for estimation of damage, made by wild ungulates in agricultural fields.