Drones fly to the rescue of animals

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

Fight against poaching, sublimation of biodiversity, rescue operations… So many examples proving the usefulness of the alliance between science and technology for the protection of animals.

1. Fight against poaching

In South Africa, drones have been used for several years to stem the scourge of poaching which greatly threatens many populations of animals, such as rhinos. The initiative comes from a group of Spanish students who, in 2015, decided to equip a drone with thermal cameras to spot any suspicious activity in a national park in the country where many rhinos live. Because poachers often operate in the middle of the night, in huge areas where the very dense vegetation complicates the work of forest guards. In case of suspicious movement, the agent can thus be alerted directly by the drone which will send him the exact GPS position. These measures seem to have borne fruit, although the reduction in poaching will not be enough to guarantee the future of the species.

In Cyprus, the police opted, in 2017, for the same technology to fight against the illegal hunting of migratory birds. Unfortunately, the relaxation of the Cypriot law for the protection of birds in 2020 seems to have undone 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 observing freshwater dolphins since 2018 using drones and thermal cameras. Their goal ? Monitor the evolution of the cetacean population, analyze their behavior and habits, in order to eventually propose public preservation policies. And this, as quickly as possible, at a lower cost and in previously inaccessible areas. ” With 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. Bird protection

Drones are also the allies of avifauna. To limit the risk of accidents linked to wind turbine blades that are dangerous – even deadly – ​​for birds, French engineers had the idea of ​​designing a “drone bird”. In practice, this mimetic drone imitates the morphology and flight of a peregrine falcon to test the effectiveness of artificial intelligence systems attached to wind turbines. These programs – connected to cameras and loudspeakers – are supposed to detect, at a distance far enough from the wind turbines, species flying towards the risk zone, then trigger a sound scare to deflect their trajectory and, if necessary, stop them. temporarily the rotation of the blades.

4. Exaltation of wildlife

By showing the beauty of animals from an atypical angle, shots taken by drone raise awareness of the fragility of living things and their essential protection. Thus, in 2021, the photographer Terje Kolaas received the grand prize of the “drone awards” for his photo immortalizing a flight of geese whose premature migration to the Arctic is probably linked to global warming. In 2020, photographer Jim Picot had managed to capture, above Australian waters, a shark swimming in a school of fish… in the shape of a heart! A year earlier, a rare scene filmed by drone emotionally showed one of the last right whales in the world, in Cape Cod Bay in the United States.

5. Pet rescues

In early 2022, Millie, a 3-year-old dog, found herself trapped on mudflats in England. To encourage him to reach a secure area, the rescuers have the idea of ​​baiting him with a sausage suspended from a drone! The subterfuge worked: probably starving, the dog followed the bait to a higher, less marshy area where she could be retrieved safe and sound. ” For the record, she only ate half the sausagehad entrusted his mistress, relieved, to 30millionsdamis.fr. Today she is doing well! “.

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. The rescuers were then able to get to the place where the animals were trapped and then bring them to the surface safely.

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Drones fly to the rescue of animals


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