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Approaching birds with drones: first experiments and ethical guidelines

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dc.contributor.author Vas, E
dc.contributor.author Lescroël, A
dc.contributor.author Duriez, O
dc.contributor.author Boguszewski, G
dc.contributor.author Grémillet, D
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-14T11:57:10Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-14T11:57:10Z
dc.date.copyright 2015-02-04
dc.date.issued 2015-02-04
dc.identifier.citation Vas, E, Lescroël, A, Duriez, O, Boguszewski, G & Grémillet, D 2015, 'Approaching birds with drones: first experiments and ethical guidelines’ Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 1-4, Viewed 14 May 2018, Royal Society, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2014.0754 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0962-8452
dc.identifier.uri http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/11/2/20140754
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10907/1880
dc.description.abstract Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, are being increasingly used in ecological research, in particular to approach sensitive wildlife in inaccessible areas. Impact studies leading to recommendations for best practices are urgently needed. We tested the impact of drone colour, speed and flight angle on the behavioural responses of mallards Anas platyrhynchos in a semi-captive situation, and of wild flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and common greenshanks (Tringa nebularia) in a wetland area. We performed 204 approach flights with a quadricopter drone, and during 80% of those we could approach unaffected birds to within 4 m. Approach speed, drone colour and repeated flights had no measurable impact on bird behaviour, yet they reacted more to drones approaching vertically. We recommend launching drones farther than 100 m from the birds and adjusting approach distance according to species. Our study is a first step towards a sound use of drones for wildlife research. Further studies should assess the impacts of different drones on other taxa, and monitor physiological indicators of stress in animals exposed to drones according to group sizes and reproductive status. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation (South Africa) en_US
dc.format.extent Fig.: ii, 4 p. en_US
dc.format.medium PDF en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Royal Society en_US
dc.rights Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States en_US
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ en_US
dc.subject Animal behaviour en_US
dc.subject Ecology en_US
dc.subject Ornithology en_US
dc.subject Robot en_US
dc.subject Stress en_US
dc.subject Unmanned aerial vehicles en_US
dc.title Approaching birds with drones: first experiments and ethical guidelines en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Royal Society en_US


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