Kyushu Railway Co., also known as JR Kyushu, will provisionally use iron-infused "deer bait" to prevent deer from entering railway tracks. The decision is based on a study that found deer are attracted to rail corridors to lick the iron-rich tracks.
Blocks of bait will be placed where they can best lure the animals and keep them off the tracks. According to sources, railway company officials will closely monitor the bait's effectiveness, especially as the company has been struggling recently to prevent train-deer collisions.
The bait was developed by Nippon Steel & Sumikin Metal Products Co., a Tokyo-based manufacturer of construction materials. The company began to study effective bait material in 2011 after learning that railway companies were faced with the problem of deer gathering on tracks.
After interviewing experts and discovering that deer are rich in iron, the company conducted an experiment in March 2013 in Sekigahara, Gifu Prefecture, in which it dispersed iron powder in a wooded area. As a result, 20 to 30 deer gathered to lick the powder.
The bait consists of a solid block of mainly iron and salt weighing about five kilograms. In a verification test conducted from October 2013, two such blocks were placed about 20 meters from a railway track. Video footage from a fixed-point camera showed deer appearing from the woods to lick the blocks and then returning in a "satisfied" manner, according to the company.
source by the-japan-news