Endangered Australian songbird ‘losing its song’

Sydney: Australia’s endangered regent honeyeater bird is losing its song, a sign that it could be nearing extinction, scientists warned in new research released on Wednesday.

###

A rapid decline in the rare songbird means its young are struggling to learn mating calls as adults disappear, according to researchers at the Australian National University.

Click Here: all stars nrl rugby jersey###

Male regent honeyeaters sang rich, complex tunes in more populated habitats, but resorted to simplified songs elsewhere, the scientists wrote in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

###

Lead author Ross Crates said the findings were a “major warning sign the regent honeyeater is on the brink of extinction” – and the loss of song knowledge could also reduce chances of mating.

###

“It could also be exacerbating the honeyeater’s population decline, because we know a sexy song increases the odds of reproduction in songbirds.”

###

Scientists found 18 regent honeyeaters, or around 12 percent of the total remaining male population, who could only mimic other species’ songs – not their own.

###

“This lack of ability to communicate with their own species is unprecedented in a wild animal,” study co-author Dejan Stojanovic said.

###

“We can assume that regent honeyeaters are now so rare that some young males never find an older male teacher.”

###

Scientists estimate just a few hundred regent honeyeaters remain in the wild.

###

The rare bird, with its black and yellow markings, was once found across much of eastern Australia but is now largely confined to eucalyptus forests in the country’s southeast.

###

The study also found regent honeyeaters born in captivity have different songs that could reduce their attractiveness to wild birds.

###

The scientists now hope to teach the captive birds to sing like their wild counterparts, by playing them audio recordings.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *