In recent years, there has actually been much to do on the topic of drones in connection with Natura 2000, and also the presence of drones would be disruptive, so lots of administration strategies have actually curbed using drones. At the very same time, drones bring many brand-new chances in the area of nature administration, tracking, evaluation and enforcement. In order to give more clearness, Rijkswaterstaat had developed standards for drone drivers and administrators.

Natura 2000: took care of decentralised

Natura 2000 sites in the Netherlands(resource: RWS)The Netherlands has no less than 168 Natura 2000 locations, including the Veluwe, the Zeeland Delta Waters and also the IJsselmeer location. In these areas, the preservation of biodiversity and also the protection of animal and plant species is main. The Natura 2000 network covers all locations safeguarded under the Birds Directive of 1979 and the Habitats Directive of 1992.

The monitoring of Natura 2000 areas is decentralised in the Netherlands. Oftentimes, the districts– whether or not with ecological services– are responsible for the management. In a number of instances, Rijkswaterstaat is responsible. Every six years, each area is established just how the location should be taken care of. That is revealed in an administration strategy. It additionally explains which tasks are and also are not allowed in the location worried.

No unambiguity regarding drones

The rapid development of drones recently has actually not gone unnoticed by the managers of Natura 2000 sites. In different management plans, flows have therefore appeared relating to flying drones, ranging from a total flight ban for drones to a permit demand. There are likewise administration strategies in which nothing is said concerning drones. Then it is required to test against the Nature Protection Act.

This decentralized approach has brought about a great deal of frustration for numerous drone leaflets– both leisure and also expert–. Not just is it often unclear what is as well as is not allowed(or where that info can be discovered), it likewise shows up in practice that administrators have no suggestion what to do with an application. Occasionally countless euros of costs are requested for an authorization, in combination with an equally costly ecological effect analysis. In various other situations, one can fly without troubles, as long as it does not happen in the reproducing season,

as an example. Literary works Review This

absence of quality is annoying, specifically now it ends up that drones can likewise be made use of perfectly for various management activities. Consider counting nests, mapping contamination and waste, monitoring water top quality or the examination of bridges, locks, weirs as well as flood supports. And additionally for media functions, it is sometimes preferable to be able to deal with drones. That prompted Rijkswaterstaat to find out in which instances drones can fly properly above Natura 2000 areas. As well as to formulate a flowchart that enables drone operators as well as managers to reason whether a designated flight can be made accounted for.

The examination was performed by Bureau Waardenburg. In consultation with Rijkswaterstaat, it was chosen to select a literature research study. “A great deal of study has already been done around the world into drone disturbance. Which does not suggest that it does not hurt to bring your own experience as a drone pilot or nature manager. The worth of this research was partly due to the truth that these two teams were in conversation with each various other,” states initiator Aad van den Burg of Rijkswaterstaat.

Gradations in Disruption

The research was led by Roland van der Vliet, ecologist at Bureau Waardenburg. He was pleasantly amazed by the quantity of research that has actually already been done in this area. “And not just when it concerns study right into sec the interruption of drones on nature. It was particularly an eye-opener for me that there are already numerous ecological applications for drones. A vital fact is that research by means of a drone often has a lot less impact than standard research study approaches.”

An important verdict in the research study report is that a disruption does not need to instantly bring about a risk to the preservation objectives. A few birds that fly up terribly as soon as a drone strategies is not necessarily problematic. It becomes a different story if, for example, the birds do not return to the nest after a disruption, avoiding eggs from hatching out or leaving young ones to their very own tools. If nests stay abandoned in this way, there may certainly be a danger to the population.


The literary works evaluation shows that (lasting) disruption depends upon a whole series of variables. Various pets react differently to drones. The degree of disruption additionally depends on the sort of drone (multirotor or fixed-wing), its dimension, the audio production, the flight pattern picked, the size of the flight (as well as for this reason the disruption), the season and the setting as well as the flight elevation.

It is exactly that large quantity of variables that makes it difficult to determine when a designated drone operation is possibly turbulent. Specifically for non-ecologists. That is why Bureau Waardenburg has created two flow schemes, one for leisure drone pilots and one for

professional drone operators or nature managers. Van der Vliet: “On the basis of such a system, a drone pilot can make an initial analysis beforehand whether the designated drone trip may cause disruption. If the answer is’ yes’ or ‘possibly’, after that in assessment with the manager it can be examined whether the flight can still be accomplished and under what problems. We intend to refine the routine in the future by feedback from the area.”


The research also deals with the duty of drones when it concerns nature management, tracking and counts. Van den Burg: “Monitoring by drones is frequently a lot more efficient than typical methods. You have less time to remain in the area as well as, additionally, you frequently reach see more information from the air. If the drone is utilized in a specialist method, you have a lot less disturbance to nature.”

To highlight this positive facet of using drones, Rijkswaterstaat has actually prepared a brochure, which discusses a number of study. These range from mapping waste in the Wadden Sea after the calamity with container ship MSC Zoe, counting Scottish Highlanders on the island of Tiengemeten to developing dotter blossoms in the Biesbosch and monitoring water quality in the Markermeer and also IJmeer. A case study of using a drone to fire film shots of nature book Drentsche Aa is likewise described.


In the future, Natura 2000 locations are most likely to be identified as drone zones where possible limitations on drone trips use. Van den Burg: “We intend to advance the discussion regarding zoning with this study. The record has actually already been sent to the Ministry of IenW. Interest has additionally been displayed in the study from abroad.”

Environmentalist Van der Vliet aspires to deal with drones himself. “I think about matters of nests. Another intriguing strategy is to count pests using a drone with a scoop. Mapping dot blossoms is also a nice example of the opportunities that drones offer.”


Brochure: Drones and also Natura 2000: with each other we fix this

Research record: Guide to drones over Natura 2000 locations

Short article: RPAS on Natura 2000 areas: Disturbance responses of wild animals and chances for study