Spying on seabirds: a review of time-lapse photography capabilities and limitations
* Correspondence author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, New Radcliffe House, Woodstock Rd. OX2 6GG, Oxford, UK.
Recent technological advances in the remote monitoring of wildlife have extended the possibilities of remote sensing methods, making camera systems both easily accessible and relevant to a greater range of research interests (Swann et al. 2011). Traditionally, cameras have focused on photographing one individual, identified by distinct markings, by either taking motion-triggered photographs or using handheld devices to study an animal opportunistically (Cutler & Swann 1999). However, in cases where wildlife can be photographed in groups, alternative methods may prove more effective in terms of data output, time in the field, and expense. In particular, time-lapse photography, defined here as a camera system installed at a field site and programmed to take an image at a set frequency, has recently become more accessible to researchers and has great capabilities for the study of animals living in groups. To demonstrate these abilities and highlight possible limitations of time-lapse techniques, I review past uses of camera systems and how they may be applied, or have been applied, to the study of colonial wildlife with a focus on seabirds.
I would like to thank Quark Expeditions for financial support during the preparation of this manuscript. I would also like to thank Drs Tom Hart, Michelle Taylor, Anni Djurhuus, and anonymous reviewers for editing earlier drafts, which greatly improved the manuscript content.
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