The University of Adelaide’s drone hub has called for a code of practice to be introduced to ensure such field research does not have unexpected and undesirable impacts.
A report by researchers Jarrod Hodgson and Lian Pin Koh found there is currently little understanding of the risks to wildlife posed by drones.
“Even though an animal might not appear to be disturbed, it could be quite stressed – for example, a bird may choose to remain near a UAV even when stressed because it is incubating an egg or protecting its hatchling,” Hodgson said.
“It is likely that animal responses vary depending on a variety of factors including the species, environmental and historical context, as well as the type of UAV and its method of operation.”.
Among the report’s recommendations is a call for drone users to seek to minimise the disturbance to wildlife and to cease operations if their flights prove disruptive.
– with AAP
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