A couple of years ago, our headlines were dominated by stories about misbehaving drones.
Today, that’s not really the case.
Have drone pilots improved their behavior or has the technology simply caught up?
After all, we’re not hearing about air traffic being shut down at a major airport because of a mysterious drone nor are we reading stories about them attempting to fly alongside major aircraft as just two among many examples.
Still, today’s story illustrates how irresponsible drone pilots can still cause havoc even if unintentionally.
You see, while there’s a lot of clarity about whether or not drones can fly around an airport (they can’t usually), there really aren’t any regulations about flying around protected wildlife areas.
And now 1,500 tern eggs at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach, California are abandoned as the result of a drone crashing in the middle of them.
The New York Times reports that the DJI Air 2S isn’t the only drone to have crashed in the area but it is the only one to have negatively impacted the birds and their eggs.
FStoppers quotes the report, explaining that the birds likely interpret the downed aircraft as a predator and are unwilling to return to the site because of this.
The Bolsa Chica Wetlands have a no-fly zone rule posted but, as can already be determined, it’s not that effective.
The other crashed drone was claimed and the owner was cited but, excepting that, there is not really much authorities can do aside from enforcing local-area rules. They could advise the public about why it isn’t a good idea to harass birds during the breeding season.
Should flying drones over protected wildlife areas be banned? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts on that in the comments below.
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