German drone programme saves thousands of fawns from death in fields

Drones outfitted with thermal imaging cameras have saved thousands of fawns from being killed by mowing machines in German fields, the Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said in remarks published on Aug 19.

The federal ministry supports the drone programme, Kloeckner told the newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland network.

“Thanks to our funding, around 200 drones were used. So far, almost 6,000 fawns have been saved,” she added. The €3mil (RM14.85mil) programme was launched in March this year, and funding is set to increase.

The drones help farmers to search their meadows for fawns before mowing.

According to the ministry, deer often hide the young in the tall grass to protect them from predators. Fawns are usually not visible to humans with the naked eye.

If danger was imminent, young deer would not run away, but crouch flat on the grass and remain motionless.

Year after year, thousands of fawns are accidentally killed when meadows are mowed.

Thanks to the drones and thermal imaging, fawns can be discovered and brought to safety. – dpa