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Technology in place to protect Yanbarukuina

Date Posted: 2008-09-12

Automobiles have been killing Yambarukuina at an alarming rate in recent years, leading government officials to develop an alarm system that warms the lumbering flightless birds they’re in harms way.

Nicknamed ECO RAAOD, the new buzzer system will warn birds in Okinawa’s northern forests that cars are coming. The Yambarukuina, a bird designated as a national monument, is endangered by cars, as well as by attacks from wild dogs and cats. The Ministry of the Environment says it will aso build a facility in Kunigami village Ada area to protect the birds, and promote breeding.

There were 21 Yambarukuina killed in 23 car incidents during 2007. Takashi Nagamine, the Yambarukuina Protection Project leader, says “Okinawa has a lot of rental cars running around the northern roads, and most of the drivers are from the mainland, or tourists who don’t drive slowly.” He says the birds are often distracted by feeding their young, and don’t notice cars approaching.

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