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Will Colors Keep Chicks from Crossing Road?

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Will Colors Keep Chicks from Crossing Road?

Arctic_tern

Arctic tern. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

In an effort to save the lives of Arctic tern chicks, a road on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, West Iceland, has been painted in bright colors. The eggs of Arctic terns are hatching at this time of year, and as the chicks leave the nest, they are tempted to cross a busy road nearby. The problem is that a great number of them never make it across the road, due to the heavy traffic of cars.

Hanna Kristrún Jónsdóttir, a biology student, heads an experimental project this summer where the Útnesvegur road is being painted in bright colors to keep the chicks away. “Of course we hope the bright colors will keep the chicks off the road. The chicks are tempted by the warm asphalt, and the asphalt also serves as a camouflage for them,” Hanna Kristrún told RÚV.

Three colors are being used right now, and next summer, other colors might be tested. A large number of chicks are killed by cars every year, and traffic has increased considerably as the number of tourists reaches new heights.

Hann Kristrún hopes this experiment will work and that it will then be implemented elsewhere in the country to protect the Arctic tern.

See for yourself what the road looks like:

Colorful road

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