Monday, August 31, 2015

"Edison Medicine" to Save the Condors?

California Condors, North America’s largest bird, once numbered just 22, and still number fewer than 500.

The birds are threatened by the fact that they tend to perch on top of power lines. If they touch a single line line, they are unharmed, but their 10-foot wingspan is such that they can stretch and hit two lines at once -- instant death.

What to do?

The answer appears to be a little "hair of the dog" in the form of mild electrical shocks delivered on fake power lines placed in training pens.

The birds learn to avoid the cables after receiving only a few zaps.

While two-thirds of untrained condors released from the sanctuary died of electrocution, that number drops to 18 percent with training.

Trained condors reintroduced into the wild are teaching their aversion of power lines to their young -- a case of single-generation training being passed down from mother to chick.

1 comment:

Karen Carroll said...

I have a facebook page: Stop Avian Electrocutions. I have links to and others who are working on this very issue. This issue was made aware by Morley Nelson, a falconer and cinematographer for early Disney wildlife films. The North American Falconers' Association also worked on this very issue as well.