Hardshell Labs, Inc., (“HSL”) founded and led by biologist Timothy A. Shields, has developed deep knowledge of avian perception, behavioral patterns, memory, and social learning. Shields founded HSL to conserve indigenous wildlife and to offer humane, commercially viable techniques for avian damage control at facilities affected by bird predation, including: protecting high value agricultural crops; deterring infestations at landfill and composting installations; mitigating power tower nesting sites; and, supporting military and civilian airport BASH prevention programs.
A short short story from Tim Shields: As the 2011 field season in the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area drew to a close I had seen no sign of small tortoises. On a plot that had had 175 tortoises in 1979, I found only 17 in 60 days of searching, and the youngest of these was probably 15 years old. Where were the little guys? One day in May, a volunteer came to me to report that she had finally seen one. She clearly saw it waving its legs, trying to escape from the beak of the raven that was carrying it to its doom. That was the only juvenile tortoise we saw that year and it marked a turning point in my life.
All of the applications noted below are under continuing research and development by HSL’s engineering, biology, field and business team members, and in conjunction with partner research organizations. Hardshell Labs has successfully delivered services contracts to protect commercial pistachio acreage against ravens/crows, as well as several protecting and conserving indigenous wildlife in varied settings. Please explore this site’s Pistachio Protection and Conservation pages for more detail.
Among the new tools and techniques being used in HSL’s field applications are laser- and aerial-drone-centered avian repulsion, as well as 3D printed predator lures and remote sensor pods for facility and environmental monitoring. This year HSL is adding internet connected wildlife observation devices and systems. Hardshell Labs has invested in advanced design and technology development, and logged extensive field trials and operational use of remote nest treatment devices, including aerial drones equipped with HSL’s patent pending application system, and is developing AI (artificial Intelligence) capabilities.