Tagged: birds

Bursting the Conservation Bubble with Birds - Up and Atom

Kimberley Collins Oct 16, 2018

As another Bird of the Year draws to a close, Kimberley Collins reflects on why this kind of fun and uplifting advocacy is an important way to get New Zealanders to take an interest in conservation. Every year, thousands of New Zealanders flock to the polls to vote for their favourite bird. Well-known and enthusiastic “campaign managers” hit the streets (and … Read More

How birds survived the dinosaur-killing asteroid - Guest Work

Guest Author May 26, 2018

Daniel J. Field, University of Bath The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs also wiped out every land-dwelling animal weighing over five kilograms. It caused wildfires, acid rain, protracted darkness and global cooling that made the world as inhospitable as some of the most barren places known today. If the same asteroid struck this afternoon, it would … Read More

Back to the Future in Northland: Fossils illuminate a flight path towards ecosystem restoration - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Apr 18, 2018

Ground control to Major Tom: The otherworldly Herangi Hill at Motu i Pao/Cape Maria van Dieman where Fred found the ancient Moho skull. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Carol. In the pouring rain, surrounded by flowing sand lava and cascading lahars, Fred Brook gingerly walks towards Matt Rayner and me. He’s sliding across a steep sand dune, his hands carefully … Read More

Caw Caw! Magpies living in bigger groups are no bird brains - News

Jean Balchin Feb 13, 2018

A recent study conducted by the University of Exeter and the University of Western Australia has found that wild magpies living in larger groups are more intelligent than magpies living in smaller groups. The study also found smarter female magpies had greater reproductive success. The research suggests that the demands of living in complex social groups may play a role in … Read More

Predator Free 2050 – more like a religious war than science-based conservation policy - Politecol

- Wayne Linklater Jan 29, 2018

One of the leaders of the Predator-Free movement, Sir Rob Fenwick (Chair of the Predator Free New Zealand Trust and a Director of Predator-Free 2050), described Predator-Free 2050 as a “project born in a leap of faith” (Dominion Post). He appears to think the predator-free goal is more like a religion than a science-based conservation project. And, his religion is … Read More

Radar-sensing albatrosses could become ‘patrollers of the Southern Ocean’ - News

John Kerr Jun 21, 2017

New technology which tracks how much time seabirds spend around fishing vessels could be recruited into the fight against illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean. The use of GPS trackers to chart the travels of wildlife is not exactly new, but developments in animal tracking now allow researchers to not only see where animals are, but also who else might … Read More

For the birds – reflections on the PCE report - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 08, 2017

There’s an important recommendation missing from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s list of things to help endangered birds. It hardly would work for all birds, but it is ridiculous that it is banned for those birds for which it would work. Let people farm them. Roger Beattie has demonstrated that he can successfully raise weka. There would be … Read More

New homes for our native birds? - Guest Work

Guest Author May 31, 2017

By Prof Phil Seddon, University of Otago. The newly released report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Taonga of an island nation) highlights the precarious state of our native avifauna, with one in five of our 168 native bird species at risk of extinction. Birds are highly visible but also highly vulnerable indicators of habitat change, not just … Read More

What a hoot! Cheeky kea ‘laughter’ sets off playful antics - News

John Kerr Mar 21, 2017

A warbling kea squawk has been shown to trigger playful behaviour in the cheeky native parrot, which researchers have compared to laughter in humans. Kea are playful birds. They perform aerial acrobatics, chase each other through the air and have jostling play-fights on the ground.  Researchers noticed that in the midst of such behaviour kea screech a particular ‘play call.’ After documenting these … Read More