Llamas Recruited as Bouncers for Threatened Wildlife
Image: nao-cha via Flickr
Already used as livestock guards for lambs and sheep (including by the Prince of Wales), llamas are now being called on to protect the eggs and chicks of wading birds at a nature park in the UK—in particular, lapwing and redshank birds, which are both threatened species in England.The BBC reports that the slightly erratic behavior llamas are known for, along with their famous groaning noises, are expected to deter predators like foxes.
So northwest England's Marshside reserve has put "two highly territorial camelids," Willy and Jack, to the task of scaring off predators.
They get aggressive when threatened but are gentle when calm, so the hope is that they'll protect the birds, fight off the foxes, and get along with the resident cows.