Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bait and Vaccinate

Island Scrub Jay. Source: Flickr
Researchers are working to save the island scrub jay, a bird native to Santa Cruz Island (part of California). By luring the birds with peanuts, and then trapping them under a wire basket the researchers are able to vaccinate the birds against the West Nile Virus. The virus has been deemed a serious threat to the birds, because they all live on a single island so an outbreak would spread quickly.

The LA Times article: Taking a rare jay under their wing, tries to get an interesting hook in by describing the simple way (like a Wile E. Coyote prank) the researchers are undertaking such a complex conservation effort. I think it draws you in enough, although the article is a little long, and I did find myself skimming toward the end. I was able to skim it though- which means that the writer did a good job of explaining the science in a clear way.

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