Drones help scientists to track turtles in greater detail and across wider areas
Scientists say more research is needed to understand if the drones have an impact on turtles.
Drones are being used to track turtles in a bid to boost conservation, scientists say.
The devices can follow turtles across large areas and in hard-to-reach locations during the day and also at night.
Dr Alan Rees, of the University of Exeter, said the stunning footage gathered by the drones can also boost public interest and involvement in turtle conservation.
We are learning more about (turtles') behaviour and movements at sea, and drones also give us new avenues for anti-poaching efforts Dr Alan Rees
“Drones are increasingly being used to gather data in greater detail and across wider areas than ever before,” Dr Rees, of the Ecology and Conservation on the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, said.
“Satellite systems and aircraft transformed turtle conservation, but drones offer cheaper and often better ways to gather information.
“We are learning more about their behaviour and movements at sea, and drones also give us new avenues for anti-poaching efforts.”
However, his study – published in the journal Endangered Species Research – warns that drones cannot fully replace ground work and surveys.
It said more research is needed to understand if and how turtles perceive drones during flight and whether this has an impact on them.