Field Data Recording
Field Data Collection: Video Recording
Maps and data are prepared from raw data collected by community volunteers.
Community volunteers videoed the shoreline from a boat running parallel to the coastline approximately 25 m from the shore using a Sony Handycam XDR-200E. A GPS was used to record latitude and longitude every 3 seconds. Both the GPS and Handycam were set to the exact same time.
During videoing, volunteers were required to make voice notes on their personal observations, such as bird life and anecdotal stories relevant to the estuary or coastline. Field notes, including start times, weather conditions and tides were recorded in an observer diary. The digital still camera was used to record action shots and establish photo-point monitoring sites for future reference. Upon completion, the video, GPS track, still photos and observer diaries were sent to the MangroveWatch Hub for analysis.
At the Hub, videos were analysed by post-graduate student volunteers. Each video was assessed as a continuous point intercept transect of the shoreline. Video of the shoreline was reduced to 1 second frame .jpg image files. The time of the video and GPS was used to match each frame to a specific GPS location. Each frame that matched a GPS position was used as a point along the transect. Specific environmental health features were recorded for each image point. Each 1 hour of video required 4 hours of analysis.
Criteria for Assessment
The SVAM was used to assess the following parameters;
- Habitat Features
- Shoreline Habitat Type.
- Mangrove Vegetation height and density.
- Mangrove Dominant Species.
- Mangrove Condition – Dieback extent and frequency.
- Fallen Tree frequency.
- Physical Damage (Natural and Human related)
- Physical Features
- Bank Substrate
- Bank Condition
- Bank Slope
- Walls and Hardened banks
- Built Structures.
Data collected from the video analysis was used to generate a condition score for each estuary and shoreline. The condition score grades the overall bank habitat condition of the shoreline and relates to vegetation biomass, vegetation condition, bank erosion, slope and bank modification. Bank habitat condition is graded as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Requiring Improvement, Poor and Very Poor. Condition Scores were mapped using ArcGIS 9.3 and will be presented as a publically available estuary report card – See Burnett River exemplar Report Card.