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Type: Journal article
Title: The behavioral responses of a nocturnal burrowing marsupial (Lasiorhinus latifrons) to drone flight
Author: Headland, T.
Ostendorf, B.
Taggart, D.
Citation: Ecology and Evolution, 2021; 11(17):12173-12181
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 2045-7758
Statement of
Taylor Headland, Bertram Ostendorf, David Taggart
Abstract: The use of drones in wildlife research and management is increasing. Recent evidence has demonstrated the impact of drones on animal behavior, but the response of nocturnal animals to drone flight remains unknown. Utilizing a lightweight commercial drone, the behavioral response of southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) to drone flights was observed at Kooloola Station, Swan Reach, South Australia. All wombats flown over during both day and night flights responded behaviorally to the presence of drones. The response differed based on time of day. The most common night-time behavior elicited by drone flight was retreat, compared to stationary alertness behavior observed for daytime drone flights. The behavioral response of the wombats increased as flight altitude decreased. The marked difference of behavior between day and night indicates that this has implications for studies using drones. The behavior observed during flights was altered due to the presence of the drone, and therefore, shrewd study design is important (i.e., acclimation period to drone flight). Considering the sensory adaptations of the target species and how this may impact its behavioral response when flying at night is essential.
Keywords: Anthropogenic impacts; drones; nocturnal observation; UAVs; vigilance behavior
Rights: © 2021 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commo ns Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.7981
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Environment Institute publications

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