• Germany edition
 
German drones save Bambis from farmers
Photo: DPA

German drones save Bambis from farmers

Published: 26 Apr 2014 09:52 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2014 09:52 GMT+02:00

The pilot project has shown great promise in spotting the young animals, about 100,000 of which fall victim in Germany every year to the large agricultural machines, said project spokesman Rolf Stockum on Friday.

In a pilot phase, five small drones - fitted with combined digital and infrared sensors that can detect colour patterns and body heat - have been trailed in the southern state of Bavaria to find the animals.

When spotted, the young deer are fitted with beacons that emit radio signals, so that farmers, when they later do the spring mowing, can find and avoid them as they noisily rumble across the grasslands and fields.

Germany's agriculture ministry - which is backing the project with €2.5 million - this month alerted farmers to the threat as mild April weather is ringing in grass-mowing season in much of Germany.

Stockum said "the problem is that deer often hide their fawn in tall fields near the edges of forests" to protect them from natural predators.

"Evolution has created a very effective way to protect the fawns, which do not yet have a sense of smell - they instinctively stay exactly where they are placed," he told AFP.

This makes it very hard for farmers or even experienced wildlife trackers to spot the animals, leading to horrible accidents, said Stockum.

"Unfortunately, there are many years in which the time when meadows are cut in spring coincides with the time when deer drop their offspring... and then many animals lose their lives."

Stockum said this is also traumatic for the farmers and machine operators involved and, furthermore, pollutes the cut grass, which is used as livestock feed, with shredded deer remains.

Farmers have in the past made visual inspections of grass areas or used trained dogs, and more recently many have employed hand-held infrared devices, to find the deer, said the spokesman.

However, Stockum said, using drones in coordinated campaigns, with crowds of volunteers, in the weeks before hay-cutting would cover far larger areas with greater accuracy and therefore save many more fawns' lives.

SEE ALSO: Cow injures two in escape from abattoir

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Student busted in case of misdelivered hash
Photo: DPA

Student busted in case of misdelivered hash

A Bavarian student expecting a cannabis delivery was collared by "Commissioner Fluke" after acting surprised in front of policemen when he saw his letter box was empty. READ  

Security fears block Germany-Israel match
German and Israeli fans cheer in the stands during a friendly in Leipzig in 2012. Photo: DPA

Security fears block Germany-Israel match

A friendly soccer match against Israel marking 50 years of diplomatic ties has been called off amid security fears and the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, the German Football Federation (DFB) said on Friday. READ  

Germany's brain drain is Europe's gain
Inside the terminal at the Frankfurt International Airport. Photo: Shutterstock

Germany's brain drain is Europe's gain

Figures from the European Union show that while many German professionals are able to find work abroad with their well-recognised qualifications, Germany doesn't always extend the same courtesy to foreigners. READ  

S-Bahn arson in support of refugees, group claims
Passengers at Berlin's Ostkreuz station yesterday as information screens relay news of the disruption. Photo: DPA

S-Bahn arson in support of refugees, group claims

A radical left-wing group claimed responsibility on Friday for an arson attack that cut power to several S-Bahn lines and caused transport chaos in Berlin, saying it was intended to awaken people to the plight of refugees. READ  

Pilots' strike over, but disruption continues
Passengers in Hannover check departure boards showing cancelled Germanwings flights. Photo: DPA

Pilots' strike over, but disruption continues

UPDATE: Germanwings pilots have ended their six-hour strike which grounded 116 flights and up to 15,000 passengers of Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings on Friday. READ  

Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in
Emergency services use a crane to lift the fallen crane in Cologne. Photo: DPA

Man narrowly escapes unwelcome drop-in

A Cologne resident was pinned to his bed after a 40-metre construction crane toppled onto his home early on Friday. READ  

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel
Merkel looking grave at Thursday's West Balkan conference in Berlin. Photo: DPA

'Further sanctions' could hit Russia, says Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that European leaders will discuss the worsening Ukraine crisis and possible further sanctions against Russia at a weekend summit. READ  

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League
Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm with fellow World Cup champion Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

UK-Germany rivalries live again in Champs League

The 2014-15 Champions League draw yesterday brought déjà-vu for English and German clubs as old opponents found themselves facing off once again. READ  

German of the Week
Animal activist fights off murder threats
Photo: DPA

Animal activist fights off murder threats

Friedrich Mülln has been dragged through the courts and threatened with murder during his years of animal rights activism. His latest court case was in Munich this week but he tells The Local he has no plans to give up the fight. READ  

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,701
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd