The development and ethics of drones within environmental research

Drones within environmental research

Drone sales are on the rise as they become more and more popular among a variety of industries. With more and more people embracing the idea of owning such devices, the fast paced world of drones has expanded out to monitor and protect the environment and its wildlife.

There are understandable questions as to whether this new form of intelligent life is vastly beneficial or whether it is having more of a negative impact in the wild. Here we will explore the positive aspects of drones in the wild as well as the growing concerns that come with it.

Photography

Drones have introduced new opportunities for photography, creating images that have never been seen before through new heights and panoramic views. This new edge to photography has become increasingly popular with nature photographers for understandable reasons, allowing them to be more adventurous and ambitious with their work.

Conservation efforts

The drone has proven to be a real game changer in the world of conservation, offering more efficient ways to carry out studies. For example, drones can complete research that would usually take weeks or months in a much shorter space of time, and they can also observe animals in places that are difficult to reach for humans or otherwise impossible to see by light plane or helicopter.

Safety

Not only do drones improve the studies and research of wildlife and the environment, they also make it safer for the work to be carried out. Attaching a GoPro to a small unmanned machine is clearly going to be a much easier and safer way for conservationists to track animals in what could be very dangerous conditions.

Is it ethical?

Environmental activists, researchers and nature lovers still have their concerns about the use of drones in the wild, even with the benefits they can bring to environmental research.

Despite the new regulations put in place by the UK government earlier this year, in which drone owners had to register their details and demonstrate that they understand safety and privacy laws that affect the way they use their drones, many nature enthusiasts believe these regulations should be extended further. Researchers using drones should have to abide by very high standards, with proper permits and proper training.

A further concern is that they believe the drones will cause noise pollution in what should be quiet secluded places, such as national parks. They have argued that there is little point in using drones to better understand wild animals and the environment if they do in fact end up affecting it in a negative way.

When looking at the pros and cons at this early stage, it is important to get the right balance. Although the research is crucial and the results could be hugely beneficial, it is just as important to make sure that there is no damage being caused to nature or wildlife.

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/-frontier/drones-in-the-wild_b_18511522.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-tech

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