FAIRFIELD - The Connecticut Audubon Society is banning the use of drones at all 19 of its sanctuaries because of concerns that they are likely to harass wildlife and annoy visitors.
The society believes they're the first in the state and one of the first in the nation to establish a no-drone policy.
Although there has been only one or two recent incidents of drones at a Connecticut Audubon sanctuary, the organization is instituting the ban proactively, in anticipation of increasing drone use across the nation. The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that almost 300,000 drone owners registered their unmanned aircraft in the first 30 days after the FAA's new online registration system went into effect late last year.
The Connecticut Audubon Society's 19 sanctuaries are located in Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Redding, New Milford/Bridgewater, Hampton, Milford, Pomfret, Goshen, Haddam, East Haddam, Montville, Middletown and Stonington.
"No creature - great or small, human or wildlife - visits our sanctuaries hoping to be buzzed by a drone," said Alexander Brash, president of the Connecticut Audubon Society in a statement released Wednesday. "We are taking this action to protect the birds and animals that consider our sanctuaries home, and to ensure that our sanctuaries are also a place of respite for our human guests too.