Technology at the service of our 30 million friends! Drones are regularly used all over the world to help animals: in the long run in the context of observations or in emergencies, through rescue operations. Review!
Fighting poaching, sublimation of biodiversity, rescue operations… So many examples that prove the usefulness of the alliance of science and technology for animal protection.
1. Fight against poaching
In South Africa, drones have been used for several years to stop the scourge of poaching that threatens many populations of animals, such as rhinos. The initiative comes from a group of Spanish students who in 2015 decided to equip the drone with thermal cameras to detect any suspicious activity in the national park of the country, where many rhinos live. Because poachers often operate in the middle of the night, in vast areas where very dense vegetation complicates the work of forest protection. In case of suspicious movement, the agent can be warned directly by a drone, which will send him the exact position of the GPS. These measures seem to have paid off, although the reduction in poaching will not be enough to guarantee the future of the species.
In 2017, the police in Cyprus chose the same technology to combat illegal hunting of migratory birds. Unfortunately, the weakening of the Cypriot bird protection law in 2020 seems to have canceled these conservation efforts by speeding up illegal hunting of birds, including protected species.
2. Protection of dolphins
In the heart of the Amazon rainforest, scientists have been observing freshwater dolphins since 2018 using drones and thermal cameras. Their goal? Observe the evolution of cetaceans, analyze their behavior and habits, and finally propose a state conservation policy. And it’s as fast as possible, at a lower cost and in previously inaccessible places. ” Based on the results of this monitoring, we can understand how to protect the animals of each region, their threats and how to deal with them. – says oceanographer Miriam Marmontel.
3. Protection of birds
Drones are also allies of avifauna. To limit the risk of accidents involving wind turbine blades, which are dangerous – even deadly – for birds, French engineers came up with the idea to develop a “drone bird”. In practice, this mimetic drone mimics the morphology and flight of a peregrine falcon to test the effectiveness of artificial intelligence systems connected to wind turbines. These programs, connected to cameras and loudspeakers, must detect at a great distance from wind turbines species that fly to the risk zone, then cause sound fear to reject their trajectory and, if necessary, temporarily stop them. rotation of the blades.
4. The rise of wildlife
Showing the beauty of animals from an atypical angle, the pictures taken by the drone increase awareness of the fragility of living beings and their necessary protection. For example, in 2021, photographer Terje Colaas received the main prize of the Drone Award for a photograph that commemorates the flight of geese, whose premature migration to the Arctic is probably related to global warming. In 2020, photographer Jim Picot managed to capture a shark swimming in a heart-shaped shoal of fish over Australian waters! A year earlier, a rare scene shot by a drone emotionally showed one of the last right whales in the world in Cape Cod Bay in the United States.
5. Saves pets
In early 2022, Millie’s 3-year-old dog was trapped in the mud in England. To encourage him to get to the safe zone, rescuers have an idea to feed him sausage hung on a drone! The trick worked: probably, starving, the dog followed the bait to a higher, less swampy area, where it could be obtained whole and intact. ” To record, she ate only half of the sausageentrusted his mistress, released, 30millionsdamis.fr. Today she is fine! “.
In June 2021, it was also a drone that allowed rescuers to spot two dogs that accidentally fell into a giant abyss in Mexico. Then rescuers were able to get to the place where the animals were trapped, and then safely bring them to the surface.