Infrared inspection – Find the fawn

Infrared inspection – Find the fawn

After their birth, fawns hide in fields for two to three weeks. Unfortunately, this period coincides with mowing season. To prevent the unintended massacre of sleeping fawns and damage to mowing equipment, we collaborated with several local farmers and foresters in the surroundings of Nijkerk to come up with a solution.

Strategy and results:

Finding the fawns with our drones is easy. They radiate enough body heat to immediately be detected from the air by our infrared cameras. The images were transferred to a portable ground station, where the fawns were clearly visible.

Lessons learned:

Because fawns move around, there is no use in collecting GPS-coordinates and providing farmers with these locations. By the time they arrive at their fields with their mowing equipment, the fawns have probably relocated and are still at risk. 

The best way to save fawns without hindering the farmer, is to let the farmer pick a field they want to mow on a certain day. On the early morning of that day, we make a short flight over the field to see if there are any fawns. If there are none, the farmer can safely mow his field.

If we do spot fawns, we will move the fawns to the edges of the field, often with the help of volunteers or foresters. As soon as we spot a fawn, we will relocate it to a safe place. Depending on the size of the field and the number of fawns present, there is hardly any delay for the farmer and he can safely mow his field.

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