Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Latest Threat from China

Science reports:
To safeguard China’s rarely seen military aircraft—the Chengdu J-20 and Shenyang J-31 fighter jets—from the risk of damage by accidental bird strikes, or birds sucked up into high-performance jet engines, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has trained a squadron of male rhesus macaques to search and destroy nests near an unnamed airfield, or airfields, in northern China. . . .

PLA taught the macaques to scramble up trees and dismantle nests by pulling out twigs, airbase commander Wang Yuejian told China Daily in May: “Our statistics show that the two monkeys have taken out about 180 nests over the past month." In late August, Han Bing, political commissar of an unnamed airbase, bragged to the paper about the novel approach: “Using macaques to disperse birds has low costs and risks with high efficiency, and this is a first in the world."
What is Obama doing about this danger? We must not let there be a trained monkey gap!

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

So what happens if some of the monkeys get loose, breed, and teach their offspring this behavior? What sort of unforseen ecological effects might this have ten years down the line?

Sure, they're employing male macaques, but the species is native to the region so it's not hard to imagine escapees finding wild mates.