Gap Fill - Ravens and Tortoises - Level 6


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   approach      catastrophic      completely      defence      embryo      film      larger      local      method      more      nests      nothing      numbers      oxygen      population      rescue      rotten      team      threat      western  
High-tech drones are flying to the of tortoises in California's Mojave Desert. The desert tortoises in the Mojave are under of being wiped out by ravens. The raven is a version of the crow. Its population in the Mojave has increased by than 700 per cent in the past 25 years and this is having a impact on the desert tortoises. Allison Fedrick, a conservationist, observed that in some places, "where there used to be 10 ravens, there are now 15,000". Ms Fedrick noted that if was done to help the tortoises, they would be wiped out. Their have plummeted by more than 90 per cent since 1990.

Technology is coming to the of the tortoises. A of biologists and drone operators has come up with a strategy to reduce the raven . They are using drones and the use of the of "egg oiling". This involves flying drones up to the ravens' , removing fertilized eggs, coating them with a of corn oil, and then replacing them. The oil blocks from entering the egg, effectively ending the life of the inside. Biologist Mercy Vaughn said: "If ravens figure out that their eggs are , they are likely to eat them and nest someplace else." Conservationist John Griffin said oiling was justified as "part of a comprehensive that...addresses all other factors".

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