The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario has joined a growing movement to ban unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, from their property to protect wildlife.
According to The Hamilton Spectator, staff at RBG are concerned the flying cameras can spook or actually injure wild animals. They are using Transport Canada regulations to inform visitors that written permission must be obtained before any drones are flown over private property.
The fulcrum for the move – and installation of signs across the property – arose when a drone came across a coyote feeding on a deer in a remote region of the grounds. The drone spooked the coyote, who ran away from his meal at full speed. The concern was clear: he could have run into traffic or into people, places where he normally would not go.
An eagle’s nest has also been a hot spot of activity, with five known attempts to film it with drones. RBG staff were able to stop the drones before any damage was done.
Even if animals aren’t injured or disturbed, The Spectator notes that crashed drones will draw users into conservation areas that should remain untouched.
Drones can be a lot of fun. The Fur-Bearers are considering using them in creation of training videos for our field work like flow devices. But the unmanned aerial vehicles can cause incredible damage, both physically and emotionally, to wild animals.
Please remember to make ethical decisions when viewing or photographing animals.
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