Drone Operators Cautioned: Steer Clear of Wildlife Harassment
State Wildlife authorities have warned drone operators in Nebraska, reminding them that using drones to harass, disturb, or closely observe wildlife is strictly prohibited by law.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has highlighted that both state and federal laws ban the employment of aircraft, encompassing drones or recreational unmanned aircraft, to harass any wildlife, including birds and fish.
Furthermore, the commission does not permit the operation of drones in state parks, historical parks, recreation areas, or wildlife management areas without obtaining a special occasion permit.
Craig Stover, the commission's law enforcement administrator, reportedly said, “The rules Game and Parks has in place that limit drone use in certain settings are intended to protect people, maintain the family-friendly atmosphere of our recreational lands, and avoid unnecessary harm and harassment to sensitive wildlife.”
In a recent press release, the commission emphasized that drones should not be utilized to “flush, chase or harass” wildlife, particularly the large flocks of migrating birds passing through the state.
Additionally, laws safeguard endangered species from harassment, such as the whooping crane, least tern, piping plover, mountain plover, and red knot found in Nebraska.
The disturbance of eagle nests or using drones for close-up observation of eagles is also strictly prohibited. According to the commission, eagles may attack drones if flown too close to the birds or their nests.
Wildlife officials urge drone operators to be aware of and adhere to the regulations in place to protect both people and wildlife. By respecting these guidelines, drone enthusiasts can continue to enjoy their hobby without causing harm or distress to the delicate ecosystems in which they operate.
Photo courtesy of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner.
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