Survey progress update
We are into day 22 of our big dugong population survey which, this year, will cover the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef as well as Hervey Bay and Moreton Bay. We have been powering through in the last few days, conducting at least one flight a day for the last 7 days which is a great achievement. We've also encountered logistical issues with our survey cameras, the aircraft's engine and staff getting sick in the plane. Fortunately, all is now back in order and tomorrow we are hoping to survey from Gladstone to Bundaberg and be in Hervey Bay at the end of the day.
On good weather days we can conduct 2 * 3hr flights: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. However, we often have to plan our survey around unsuitable weather, mostly related to wind. Wave caps created by the wind have a negative effect on our observers' ability to spot animals, so we have to ensure that we fly in very low wind conditions.
These weather conditions also have an effect on one of the objectives of this survey. This objective will determine how a range of weather conditions will affect the images taken from out cameras compared to the observers.
Our fingers are crossed that the survey will continue to run smoothly! Stay updated with the team as we head to Hervey Bay!