At AirMap, we talk a lot about the benefits of drones on our local communities, from utility inspection and construction to public safety and package delivery.

But drones aren’t just for cities and suburbs. Drones are also powerful tools for wildlife research and conservation, especially in previously inaccessible habitats where nature and wildlife abound. Research has shown that drones are more effective than humans at gathering data related to assessing plant health, monitoring animal populations, and even collecting whale snot.

Unfortunately, if not flown responsibly by authorized personnel, drones can be a disturbance to wildlife, causing acute or chronic stress to an animal’s health and wellbeing. For this reason, the United States Forest Service (USFS) prohibits the use of drones in designated Wilderness Areas and the safe use of drones in designated fly zones only.

AirMap has partnered with USFS and Tread Lightly!, the national nonprofit for the promotion of responsible recreation, to educate drone users about designated fly zones over public lands as part of Tread Lightly!’s “Respected Access is Open Access—Drones” campaign.

Drone operators can use the AirMap for Drones application for iOS, Android, and Web to find designated fly zones as well as areas where drone use is restricted. By being aware of these designated fly and no-fly zones, drone operators can stop the impact of drones to wildlife before they even start.

Beyond wildlife areas on land, you can also use the AirMap application to fly compliantly over sensitive ocean areas. Last year, AirMap partnered with Oceans Unmanned on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of ECO-Drone, an education and outreach campaign to encourage Environmentally Conscious Operations of drones when flying near marine sanctuaries and other sensitive areas.

Log in to the AirMap app to view wilderness areas and plan your next responsible drone flight.


Read the full press release via Tread Lightly! here.