Can Technology Help Save The Kākāpō, The World’s Heaviest And Only Flightless Parrot, From Extinction?

If you have felt the skies above you seem increasingly empty of chirping birds, you are not alone. A 2018 study by BirdLife International revealed that 40 percent of the world’s 11,000 bird species are in decline, and one in eight bird species is threatened with global extinction. Now, some scientists are using cutting-edge technology to revive the critically-endangered kākāpō; if successful, the techniques used may help save other bird species as well.

Endemic to New Zealand, the kākāpō (pronounced kuh-kaa-pow), an owl-faced nocturnal parrot, is unlike any other member of its species. Evolved in a world without mammals and human interference, the bird lost its ability to fly and added on weight, giving it the double honor of being the world’s only flightless parrot and its heaviest one!

When found in enormous numbers across New Zealand, the charming winged animal, which can weigh as much as 11 pounds (5 kilograms), is currently wavering on the very edge of elimination. While heartless predators, for example, raccoons, felines, and stoats are to a great extent to fault, the kākāpō’s impossible to miss reproducing propensities don’t help either. First of all, the parrots, which can satisfy 100 years, don’t begin reproducing until the age of five. They additionally possibly mate when the rimu trees — their essential nourishment source — bear a lot of natural product, an occasion that happens each two to four years.

To exacerbate it, the females should be charmed with an intricate romance showcase. During reproducing years, the guys burrow a shallow bowl on an unmistakable edge or peak and settle down inside to pull in a mate with a profound, low-recurrence “blast” each 1 to 2 seconds. The sound, which can be heard 300 to 400 meters away on level ground, or up to 5 km away in the mountains, can keep going for as long as eight hours one after another, for a time of a few months. In spite of the fact that analysts don’t know what characteristics claim to the female kākāpōs, they have watched a few guys pulling in a few mates while others not being chosen by any stretch of the imagination.

Given the obstructions to expanding the populace, it isn’t astonishing that starting at 2019, just 114 grown-up parrots remain. In spite of the fact that the number is low, it is a considerable improvement over the 51 kākāpō examples that stayed on Earth in 1995. The populace lift can be credited to the administration’s choice to migrate the 51 feathered creatures to three little without predator islands off the shore of New Zealand, and the endeavors of a group drove by Andrew Digby, a kākāpō researcher for the New Zealand Division of Preservation.

To assist them with their endeavors, the analysts labeled each flying creature with an electronic tracker. “Each and every kākāpō wears a savvy transmitter,” says Digby. The data produced by the transmitters is gotten by a progression of information lumberjacks dispersed over the island and sent to the researchers, permitting them to pinpoint where the winged creatures are settling, and furthermore know whether they are debilitated.

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