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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Treehugger Tuesday

From Earther:

It's Drone Vs. Raven as Scientists Fight to Save the Threatened Desert Tortoise
Yessenia Funes
August 7, 2019

This drone is on its way to a raven nest to kill some birds.
Photo: Courtesy of Tim Shields
Tim Shields spends a lot of time in the Mojave Desert. Sometimes, he camps out there for weeks at a time. As a desert biologist for nearly 40 years now, Shields doesn’t mind the extreme high and low temperatures that the California desert presents. He’d rather gaze at the desert night sky than a dull hotel room ceiling fan.

But he’s out there with a bigger purpose than staring at the sky. Shields’ is constantly searching for raven nests, often tucked in the branches of the Mojave’s signature Joshua tree. But the biologist isn’t exactly a raven expert; he’s a desert tortoise researcher. Unfortunately, ravens have become one of the threatened tortoise’s greatest threats. The jet black birds love to feast on baby tortoises whose shells are too soft to offer them much protection. Now, Shields is focused on how to reduce raven populations throughout the Mojave Desert to help tortoises reach reproductive age and, well, survive.

The key? Drones.

Click to read the entire article

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