Tautra image

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This island use to be an important breeding site for the (wild) eiders. There were no predators and the shallow strait towards the mainland provided plenty of the bird's food, the common mussels. In 1979 a 2½ kilometer road had been built across the strait. This had two effects: The road stopped the tidal current trough the strait so that the mussels didn't thrive there anymore, and foxes, badgers and stoats had free access to the eggs and chickens on the island. In 2003 some of the road stone filling was replaced by a bridge and the automated gate shown here is intended to prevent the predators from crossing the bridge. Now the mussels are back and if the gate's failure rate now will stay low, there is hope for the eiders. Well, there are stories about badgers waiting at the gate for a car to appear...
(2013-04-21)

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