Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

New recommendations on flying drones over marine animals

10 July 2019

New recommendations on safe altitude for flying drones over marine animals published in major scientific journal

Researchers from the Auckland University of Technology have found the safest distance to fly drones over marine mammals.

AUT conservation biologist, Associate Professor Barbara Bollard, and Master of Science student Ticiana Fetterman wanted to understand whether marine wildlife is stressed or disrupted by drone use.

In consultation with the Department of Conservation, they researched a pod of bottlenose dolphins off Great Barrier Island, in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf.

Fetterman conducted boat-based surveys to assess short-term responses of resting bottlenose dolphins to a lightweight vertical take-off and landing UAV flown at altitudes of 10, 25 and 40 metres.

Changes to the group’s swimming direction and frequencies of above-water activity, including jumping out of the water, were recorded from an anchored research vessel before (as a control) and during the use of the UAV.

Dr Bollard says, when dolphins are stressed, they slap their tails, chin slap the water and the pod changes direction to avoid the drone. Recordings of this behaviour increased significantly when the UAV was flown at 10 metres over the animals.

The behaviour was reduced in a buffer zone of 10 to 25 metres and there was no significant detection with the aircraft at 25 metres and above.

The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports and will be used by marine researchers worldwide.

Dr Bollard says although the study was on dolphins, the findings inform best practice for all marine mammals.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Up 0.5% In June Quarter: Services Lead GDP Growth

“Service industries, which represent about two-thirds of the economy, were the main contributor to GDP growth in the quarter, rising 0.7 percent off the back of a subdued result in the March 2019 quarter.” More>>

ALSO:

Pickers: Letter To Immigration Minister From Early Harvesting Growers

A group of horticultural growers are frustrated by many months of inaction by the Minister who has failed to announce additional immigrant workers from overseas will be allowed into New Zealand to assist with harvesting early stage crops such as asparagus and strawberries. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Giant Fossil Disoveries: Scientists Discover One Of World’s Oldest Bird Species

At 62 million-years-old, the newly-discovered Protodontopteryx ruthae, is one of the oldest named bird species in the world. It lived in New Zealand soon after the dinosaurs died out. More>>

Rural Employers Keen, Migrants Iffy: Employment Visa Changes Announced

“We are committed to ensuring that businesses are able to get the workers they need to fill critical skills shortages, while encouraging employers and regions to work together on long term workforce planning including supporting New Zealanders with the training they need to fill the gaps,” says Iain Lees-Galloway. More>>

ALSO:

Marsden Pipeline Rupture: Report Calls For Supply Improvements, Backs Digger Blame

The report makes several recommendations on how the sector can better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an incident. In particular, we consider it essential that government and industry work together to put in place and regularly practise sector-wide response plans, to improve the response to any future incident… More>>

ALSO: