We're Doomed: Scientists Lacing Sunflower Seeds With Birth Control for Squirrels

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

In an age when politicians are proposing legislation to deny women access to birth control, scientists at South Carolina's Clemson University are giving it away for free -- to squirrels.

According to National Geographic, a warmer winter and a boom in nuts (of the food variety) has led to a growing number of grey squirrels that are blamed for destroying their surrounding environment.

See also: - Debbie Lesko's Freedom-Hating Anti-Birth-Control Bill - Share Your Sex Life (In the Name of Science) With a New App From The Kinsey Institute - We're Doomed: Scientists Discover Genitalia-Headed Fish

Squirrels have been captured and spayed (not unlike feral cats) for years, but catching enough squirrels to make a dent in their growing numbers has become difficult and expensive, so scientists are turning to one of the squirrel's favorite snacks -- sunflower seeds.

Each sunflower seed is laced with a drug called DiazaCon that lowers cholesterol, from which come sex hormones. The seeds are currently available in 16 campus feeders at Clemson University and contain pink dye that color the squirrels' stomachs so they're easily identifiable.

According to the scientists behind the study, the feeders are accessible only to grey squirrels (no word on the occasional smart, grey-hoodied college student looking for a bonus birth-control supplement). The experiment marks the first time the drug has been tested on squirrels in the wild.

Snack time.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.