A local earthquake monitoring station in northeast China's Liaoning province keeps about 30 animals to aid in local earthquake monitoring because animals are more sensitive to upcoming seismic events than humans, local authorities said Thursday.
Located in Faku county in the city of Shenyang, the Faku Seismic Station's macro observation site has raised more than 30 animals, including mammals, reptiles, and fowl, as an earthquake pre-warning system, said Zhou Zheng, deputy director of the station.
Animals are likely to act abnormally several days or hours prior to a devastating earthquake, Zhou said.
"We keep daily records on the animals' abnormal responses and eating habits," said Jiang Xing, a staff member with the station.
"But we can not completely rely on the animals' help because external factors like bad weather and fear can also lead animals to behave abnormally," said Zhou.
A total of 19 townships in Faku county have established similar observation sites and report the results to the Faku Seismic Station every week.
"Although we have adopted some advanced techniques to monitor earthquakes, animals have helped in forecasting previous significant earthquakes," said Zhou. "Therefore, we will continue to use this method."