How Drones Are Affecting Wildlife in Surprising Ways
A recent study showing that black bear heart rates soar at the sight of a drone has some experts concerned.
A bear may not run when it sees a flying robot swooping in from the sky—but the animal may still be in distress.
In the study, the first ever to test wild animals' physiological reactions to UAVs, scientists successfully flew a platter-size quadcopter near wild bears 17 times.
In almost all of the trials, the bears' heart rates—measured by sensors previously implanted in the animals’ bodies—went up significantly, especially when the bear was surprised by the drone. A big boost even occurred in a female bear who had recently gone into her den to hibernate.
Unexpectedly, most bears didn't act bothered, even when the drone flew within 33 feet (10 meters) of them. The exceptions were two female bears with cubs that ran from