Quake-Fleeing Wildlife Could Provide Early Warning System

Earthquake, Nepal Collapsed buildings after a recent earthquake hit Chautara, Nepal.
Image Credit: UK Department for International Development

A tri-continental research team is working on what may be a more accurate prediction of looming earthquakes: Follow the rats. An animal behavior specialist and researchers with NASA’s SETI Institute in California, and Mackenzie University’s Center of Radio Astronomy and Astrophysics in Brazil examined motion-triggered cameras activated around a remote Peruvian village in the Andes to find that most wildlife, and especially rodents, in the Yanachanga-Chemillen National Park fled the area days before the 7.0-magnitude Contamama earthquake occurred in 2011, even though it was 300 kilometers from the epicenter of the quake. While a lot of work still must be done, the initial findings have got researchers thinking of a potential early warning system that could save lives from the natural disasters.

Read more at Bloomberg View.