Scientists scare animals with drones to determine their response to noise

(ORDO NEWS) — The sound of a flying drone causes alarm in large mammals. Experiments have shown that animals remain calm only as long as the apparatus is at a height of more than one hundred meters.

In recent years, drones have become an indispensable tool for observing nature. Filmmakers were able to show us animals from new and unprecedented angles.

Scientists use drones to study the inhabitants of the steppes and savannas, to combat poaching.

However, the results of such surveys can be far from natural: animals notice the presence of a flying machine and show alarm.

In addition, this creates additional stress for them in an already difficult world to survive.

Scientists tracked the reaction of animals to the appearance of drones both in natural conditions and in captivity.

In this they were helped by the employees of the Brazilian Zoo Sao Paolo, who over the years have studied their wards well and easily notice any anomalous behavior.

The study covered 18 species of large mammals, including antelopes and cows, goats and camels, wolves and deer, zebras, elephants, jaguars, rhinos, giraffes, tigers, tapirs, bears and so on.

All of them are easy to observe from the air, so drones are used especially often in such cases.

During the experiments, the drone approached the target at a height of up to 120 meters, after which it hovered from above and gradually descended until the animal showed signs of anxiety.

The authors set the minimum height at 10 meters, but in all cases, without exception, the animals reacted much earlier.

Elephants began to rotate their heads, cats growled and jumped, and ungulates tried to run away.

Faster than others, anomalous behavior manifested itself in the largest animals, such as giraffes and elephants. Apparently, this is due to their greater sensitivity to low frequency sounds.

Such acoustic waves propagate farther, so their intensity reaches an unpleasant limit for animals at a greater distance than shorter-wavelength oscillations.

However, the vast majority of mammals showed little concern as long as the drone remained above a hundred meters.

It seems that at such a distance from animals, the use of drones for science, filming and just entertainment can be considered quite safe.


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