Drones could be stressing out wildlife, scientists suggest

By Jill Replogle

The rising popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has caused them to show up everywhere from private back yards to national parks, and the drones have proven useful for all kinds of applications, including recreation, military defense and even scientific research. As a result, although drones and wildlife might not seem like they should ever mix, more and more frequently they do.

One increasing use for UAVs is allowing scientists, conservationists and even ecotourists to get up close and personal with nature. They have been used to ward off rhino and elephant poachers in Africa and collect data on wild humpback whales. Amateur drone operators have used UAVs to collect videos and photographs of wildlife, such as dolphins, in their natural habitats.

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But as much as UAVs are becoming more common among wildlife researchers and enthusiasts, there has been little research on how the animals actually react to the aircraft. Measuring animals’ reactions to drones buzzing around overhead is important for figuring out how much stress the aircraft may be putting on the local fauna, say researchers from the University of Minnesota. And they have just released a study that lead … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times