Recently there was a presentation at the Sunrise Rotary Club in Arcata regarding the use of drones near pelagic bird colonies and the disruption and stress it is causing to many nesting species. The drones often fly to close, stress the birds and often they fly off of nests, leaving them open to predation. The Audobon society has written on various ways drones are affecting bird species.
On the most recent Wildlife Society newsletter, an article in National Geographic titled “Viral bear video shows dark side of filming animals with drones” . It clearly shows a mother bear and cub climbing a difficult and treacherous snowy mountain. The cub falls a bit and is almost back up when the drone startles the bears, and the tiny cub falls again, almost to his death.
The cub does make it back up to his anxious mother, the these interactions of drones and wildlife are happening more often, frequently through simple ignorance and carelessness.
Drones have been useful for environmental science and biology, as have other tools like wildlife cameras and tracking devices. The tools can also be disturbing and detrimental. Please be aware of any observation that you conduct and help spread awareness of the use of drones and impacts to wildlife.