From a large data base on observer training gathered over 20 years of South Australian kangaroo survey (SAKS), it was estimated that approximately 40-48 hours in the air (including both survey and transport time) were required to train and calibrate a new observer. Training consisted of learning to see a consistent proportion of the population and calibrating this proportion against a "standard" trained observer. On a first survey flight, an untrained observer, even with prior ground survey experience, always saw fewer kangaroos than a trained observer. Proper training of observers is mandatory if aerial surveys for kangaroos are to continue to improve and remain a respected method of estimating kangaroo populations.
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L. A. Beard; Training observers. Australian Zoologist 1 June 1999; 31 (1): 287–291. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.1999.029
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