The US Fish and Wildlife Service is using drone technology to drop vaccine-laced M&Ms in Montana. The vaccine will protect Black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs in the UL Bend National Refuge against the sylvatic plague.
Utilizing drones to deliver the vaccine-laced M&Ms is the least detrimental to the environment and is the most efficient way. Compared to dropping the candies on foot, the drone can drop candies at a rate 10 times faster than a human could. To ensure that the prairie dogs and ferrets eat the vaccine, the M&M is covered in vaccine-laden peanut butter.
While this is not the first time that vaccinated food is being planted in the wild to save an animal population, it is the first time it is being accomplished by drone technology.
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