May 17, 2011

Air Force on Lookout for Mojave Ground Squirrels

Lena Groeger, Wired

AP Photo

The Air Force is on the hunt for a new detector. It’s gotta be rugged — able to withstand extreme temperatures, blistering 50-mph winds and barren desert conditions. But it’s not meant to detect dangerous insurgents, powerful explosives or undercover spies. Its target is one big … bad … Mojave ground squirrel.

As well as all the other mammals and birds that dwell underground or fly through military areas. Bombs, fires and flying planes may not seem like the preferred backdrop for these desert fauna. But plenty of security measures and safety buffer zones mean that military lands are pretty sheltered from development pressures and habitat destruction. So, more than 300...

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TAGGED: Sound, Air Force, Squirrels