Iceland roads painted to stop birds dying

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Biologists in western Iceland are hoping that brightly coloured roads could prevent Arctic terns being hit by traffic.

Scientists have painted a long stretch of asphalt on the Snaefellsnes peninsula red, yellow and white to try to discourage the sea birds from wandering onto the road.

The area is home to large Arctic tern colonies. Young birds are particularly vulnerable to traffic as they gravitate towards the warm road surface.

The plan is to see how the birds respond to the multi-coloured road this summer, and if it works, the idea could spread to other parts of the country.

Arctic terns are small birds, weighing only about 100g, and are known for their extraordinary annual migrations. In June, scientists at Newcastle University found that one had flown 96,000km from Northumberland’s Farne Islands to the Weddell Sea in Antarctica and back – the longest migration ever recorded.

8 Responses

  1. That’s really thoughtful of them, I do hope it works!! And if it does, we should try that in NZ!!

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