The Southern Ocean is one of the most rapidly changing ecosystems on the planet due to the effects of climate change and commercial fishing for ecologically important krill and fish. Because sea ice loss is expected to be accompanied by declines in krill and fish predators, decoupling the effects of climate and anthropogenic changes on these predator populations is crucial for ecosystem-based management of the Southern Ocean. We reviewed research published from 2007 to 2014 that incorporated very high-resolution satellite imagery to assess distribution, abundance, and effects of climate and other anthropogenic changes on populations of predators in polar regions. Very high-resolution imagery has been used to study 7 species of polar animals in 13 papers, many of which provide methods through which further research can be conducted. Use of very high-resolution imagery in the Southern Ocean can provide a broader understanding of climate and anthropogenic forces on populations and inform management and conservation recommendations. We recommend that conservation biologists continue to integrate high-resolution remote sensing into broad-scale biodiversity and population studies in remote areas, where it can provide much needed detail.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.
- Ecosystem management
- Polar regions
- Satellite imagery