Bird brains! According to the study, the alpine parrot may have fled to the mountains to avoid humans

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Bird brains! According to the study, the alpine parrot may have fled to the mountains to avoid humans

  • Keas, a type of parrot native to New Zealand’s Alpine regions, may have fled there to get away from humans
  • The birds adapted the area as their home as it was largely untouched by humans
  • If the alpine zone retreats as it has done due to climate change, it is unclear whether kea and its sister species, the kākā, can survive in the same area

Keas, a species of large parrots native to New Zealand’s Alpine regions, may have fled there to get away from humans, a new study suggests.

The study shows evidence that the birds adapted the area as their home, as it was an area largely untouched by humans.

Study co-author and associate professor at the University of Otago, Michael Knapp, openly wondered ‘if kea uses the alpine zone as a refuge for human activity, what other options do they have when the alpine zone disappears? early in one statement.

The alpine zone has undergone significant changes in recent years due to global warming, the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network.

It is possible that the kea uses the forests more, possibly conflicting them with its sister species, the kākā, but at this point the researchers just don’t know.

‘It is important to know how alpine species will respond to global warming so that the best conservation decisions can be made to protect them, especially in remote island environments with very limited opportunities for species to move elsewhere,’ added Knapp .

Keas live in the Alpine regions of New Zealand and may have fled there to get away from humans

Kākās are another type of parrot that is also found in New Zealand, albeit mainly in the forests of the island country

The two birds may have to fight for the same space if the climate continues to get warmer

Keas and Kākās can both be found in New Zealand.  According to some estimates, the kea population is between 3,000 and 7,000, while Kākās can number less than 10,000

Keas and Kākās can both be found in New Zealand. According to some estimates, the kea population is between 3,000 and 7,000, while Kākās can number less than 10,000

Keas are known for their olive green body and orange feathers under their wings. They also have a gray long, narrow curved gray bill.

Kākās are another type of parrot that is also found in New Zealand, albeit mainly in the forests of the island country.

Keas, which have wingspan of nearly three feet long and about 19 inches long, have adapted well to the changing climate, but they’re not out of the proverbial forests yet.

The study's lead author, Denise Martini (pictured), along with a kākā

The study’s lead author, Denise Martini (pictured), along with a kākā

To find out how both species could cope with a warming climate, the researchers looked at their histories.

During ice ages, the kea’s habitat expanded, while kākā expanded between ice ages.

The population size of Kea remained relatively stable (albeit small), while the size of the kākā population varied widely.

The country estimates that there are between 3,000 and 7,000 keas in New Zealand Ministry of Conservation.

Conversely, it is believed that according to experts.

The study’s lead author, PhD candidate Denise Martini of the University of Otago, said the findings are just “ the tip of the iceberg ” of what researchers can gain by observing the evolution of the two birds.

Unfortunately, when it comes to conservation decisions, we are often forced to invest in short-term ’emergency solutions’, and it is rare for researchers and conservationists to have a chance to really look at the long-term prospects for a country’s survival. term. kinds, ”said Martini.

Martini continued, “Making those kinds of predictions in a changing environment requires the kind of in-depth knowledge that is simply not available to many endangered species. I am hopeful that with the help of new emerging technologies and greater public awareness of environmental issues, we will be able to move beyond the limitations we now have. ‘

The findings were published earlier this month in the scientific journal Molecular Ecology.

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