Over 550 baby deer rescued in Swiss canton by using drones

Over 550 baby deer rescued in Swiss canton by using drones

Over 550 fawns have been rescued in Canton Graubünden by volunteer teams using heat-seeking drones. Authorities have been using the drones to scan farmers' fields for baby deer, and are still looking for drone pilots.

Volunteers use thermal imaging cameras to spot baby deer

In the Swiss mountains, authorities have been using drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras to rescue fawns from fields before they are mown. According to 20 minuten, 1.720 missions have been flown from the end of May 2021 to the beginning of June this year, 400 more than the year before.

Administrator for the Mittelbünden region in Canton Graubünden, Regula Bollier, told 20 minuten that fawns being killed by farming and threshing equipment is quite common, noting "on the big field, you often don't even notice that you've caught a young animal." 

In a media release, the government of Canton Graubünden said that the scheme had rescued 552 fawns in the last year, the most successful rescue year to date. Emergency services and around 190 volunteer drone pilots with 24 drones patrol the skies each day local farmers mow their fields.

Canton Graubünden still looking for volunteers to spot fawns

Anyone who wants to help save the lives of new fawns can sign up for a one-day drone pilot course. Bollier explained, “The morning of the one-day training is about theory and legal principles, and in the afternoon it’s about practical exercises in the fields.” "We would like to continue to advertise and train more pilots and helpers," she said.

If you fancy joining the effort, and happen to live in the Mittelbünden region of the canton, you can sign up for the course (when it opens) on the official TCS website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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