Azura’s scientists conduct and manage systematic visual surveys which are critical for understanding the distribution and abundance of protected species. The data obtained from these studies are often used to develop effective monitoring and mitigation plans.
Our scientists specialize in conducting line-transect surveys which are used for estimating the abundance/density, assessing behavior and habitat utilization, and determining the spatial and temporal distribution of marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds.
We often combine shipboard and small boat surveys, aerial surveys, passive acoustic monitoring, and other methods to provide a more complete understanding of species diversity, distribution, and abundance/density in a particular area.
- Line transect surveys – aerial and shipboard surveys
- Threatened and endangered species surveys
- Acoustics surveys
- Baseline studies
Data Analysis & Modeling
Azura’s scientists analyze survey data to assess spatial and temporal distributions in abundance/density of marine protected species. They have utilized both the Conventional Distance Sampling (CDS) and Density Surface Modeling (DSM) methods to analyze data from line-transect surveys.
Both modeling methods give clients a powerful tool for operational planning by granting them the ability to avoid areas containing high densities of protected marine species and to assess the potential impacts proposed operations may have on these species within a given area.
- CDS – abundance/density estimates are modeled based on the survey design so that we can generate robust estimates of abundance/density of a species or group over an entire study area
- DSM – animal abundance/density is modeled as a function of environmental covariates, such as geographical, physical, and environmental variables. We use this method to predict animal abundance/density at a finer spatial resolution which is particularly useful for marine spatial planning.