I Parrots Perhaps the New Zealand Alpine forces headed into the mountains to avoid people, and researchers say this is an “option” that could help them survive the climate crisis. The Kea is considered the only alpine parrot in the world, but scientists who analyzed DNA sequences and fossil analyzes have found that Kea was also present in other parts of the country in the past. Today these birds are rare and considered an endangered species new Zeland.
Blame the climate?
Kea is particularly vulnerable to climate crisis: as the planet warms, alpine environments decline, and many species associated with alpine climatic conditions may be threatened. extinction. European research, for example, found that up to 22% of the species studied on glaciers in the Italian Alps will disappear from the area once the glaciers disappear. Researchers at the University of Otago used extensive genome data from kea and similar, forest-adapted species of native macaws, the kākā and concluded that the recent mass migration of alpine parrots served to avoid human landscapes.
Associate Professor Michael Knapp, one of the lead authors of the paper, said that physiologically, there is nothing stopping Kea from staying at low altitudes. The study then refuted the argument that the kea moved to avoid people, and still described it as speculative, and there was insufficient information to establish a causal relationship between the expansion of human settlements and the flight of birds to mountainous areas. However, Knapp asked himself some questions about the influence of man on landscapes and why in this movement he can also focus so little on man.
Kea does not like human presence very much
The Kea parrot is not very fond of human existence: it is a very intelligent, mischievous and inquisitive species, known for its love of attacking windshield wipers of the cars of mountain visitors. Over the years, it made headlines for searching tourist bags, stealing wallets and, in one case, stealing an unfortunate Scottish tourist’s passport. But among farmers, they have gained a bad reputation for attacking and sometimes killing sheep. The attacks angered the early New Zealand sheep herders to the point that the government imposed a “bounty” on Kia that lasted nearly 100 years, until 1970, killing 100,000 people within a century. According to the New Zealand Department of Conservation, keas are now nationally endangered and there are still fewer than 10,000.
Kea may return to forests in the future
If global warming significantly reduces alpine habitats for Kea, they can return to the forests, a move that should once again push them into competition with persimmons. When New Zealand endorsed a proposal to declare a climate emergency in 2020, it specifically referred to the “alarming trend in declining global species and biodiversity”, including the decline of New Zealand’s native biodiversity. At the moment, New Zealand is struggling to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it is not on track to fulfill commitments to the Paris climate agreement, or to achieve its zero emissions target by 2050.
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