Black roads offer birds a source of warmth and camouflage.

Iceland is taking drastic action to save Arctic terns as the country has allowed scientists to paint roads bright colors in an attempt to prevent the birds from being killed.

According to biology student Hanna Kristrún Jónsdóttir, young Arctic terns are particularly vulnerable as black asphalt offers them a source of warmth and camouflage.  Unfortunately, this has a tendency to be fatal as a countless number of birds are killed by motorists every year.

In an effort to reduce the number of deaths, scientists have painted roads in the Snaefellsnes peninsula red, yellow, and white.  Scientists believe these colors will deter the birds from flocking to the roadway and if the plan is successful, it could be expanded to other parts of Iceland.

The verdict is still out at this point but the project is still in its early phases.  Regardless of the results, biologists are already looking forward to next season where they can try additional colors to see which ones best deter the birds.

According to biologist Kristinn Ólafur Kristinsson, the issue is becoming more important as the region has seen an influx of tourists which has resulted in more traffic and more Arctic terns being killed.

Source: RUV via BBC News

Gallery: Iceland hopes painted roads will stop the killing of Arctic terns