Drones fly to save animals

Technology at the service of 30 million friends! Around the world, drones are regularly deployed to help animals: in the long-term in the course of observations, or in the event of an emergency, through rescue operations. Overview !

The fight against poaching, the sublimation of biodiversity, the rescue operations…so many examples that prove the usefulness of the alliance between science and technology to protect animals.

1. Fighting poaching

In South Africa, drones have been used for several years to stop a scourge of poaching that greatly threatens many animal groups, such as rhinos. The initiative comes from a group of Spanish students who, in 2015, decided to equip a drone with thermal cameras to detect suspicious activity in a national park in the country where many rhinos live. Because hunters often work in the middle of the night, in vast areas and where very dense vegetation complicates the work of forest rangers. In the event of suspicious movement, the agent can therefore be alerted directly by the drone which will send him the exact GPS location. These measures appear to have paid off, although reducing poaching will not be enough to ensure the species’ future.

In Cyprus, the police, in 2017, chose the same technology to combat the illegal hunting of migratory birds. Unfortunately, the relaxation of the Cyprus Bird Protection Act in 2020 appears to have spoiled these conservation efforts by accelerating the illegal hunting of birds, including protected species.

2. Dolphin conservation

In the heart of the Amazon rainforest, scientists have been monitoring freshwater dolphins since 2018 using drones and thermal cameras. their goal? Observe the evolution of cetacean groups, and analyze their behavior and habits, in order to eventually suggest general conservation policies. And this, as quickly as possible, at lower cost and in previously inaccessible areas. ” Through the results of this monitoring, we can understand how to protect the animals in each area, their threats, and how to deal with them. says oceanographer Miriam Marmontel.

3. bird protection

Drones are also allies of birds. To reduce the risk of accidents associated with wind turbine blades that are dangerous – and even fatal – to birds, French engineers had the idea to design a “drone.” In practice, this drone simulates the morphology and flight of a peregrine falcon to test the effectiveness of artificial intelligence systems associated with wind turbines. These programs—connected to cameras and amplifiers—are supposed to detect, at a sufficient distance from the wind turbines, species flying toward the danger zone, then raise an acoustic panic to deflect their path and, if necessary, pause them. Rotation of the blades.

4. glorify wildlife

By showing the beauty of animals from an atypical angle, the footage captured by the drones raises awareness of the vulnerability and essential protection of living creatures. Thus, in 2021, photographer Terry Colas received the Grand Prix of the “Drone Awards” for his photograph that immortalized the flight of geese whose early migration to the North Pole is likely linked to global warming. In 2020, photographer Jim Biko was able to capture a shark above Australian waters swimming in a school of fish… in the shape of a heart! A year ago, a rare scene filmed by a drone emotionally showed one of the world’s last right whales, in Cape Cod Bay in the United States.

5. pet rescue operations

In early 2022, 3-year-old Millie finds herself trapped on the mudflats of England. To encourage him to reach a safe area, the rescuers have the idea to feed him sausage suspended from a drone! The trick worked: the dog was probably starving, and he followed the bait to an area higher and less swampy where it could be recovered safely and well. ” For the record, I only ate half the sausageHis mistress, relieved, has been entrusted to 30millionsdamis.fr. Today she is fine! “.

In June 2021, it was also a drone that enabled rescuers to spot two dogs that had accidentally fallen into a giant abyss in Mexico. Rescuers were then able to get to where the animals were trapped and then take them to the surface safely.

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