Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Saving the remarkable kakapo from extinction

21.08.2007
One of the strangest and most endangered birds in the world, the kakapo, is being brought back from the brink of extinction with the help of scientists from the University of Glasgow.

The largest of all parrot species, flightless, nocturnal and plant-eating, the kakapo used to be found all over New Zealand. But ecological changes, habitat clearance and the introduction of predatory mammals combined to cause a catastrophic decline in numbers to only 51 in 1995.

Another factor in their near extinction is that kakapo breed infrequently. This is because they rear their young on the fruits of native trees. These trees - pink pine and rimu – only fruit every 2-6 years and kakapo only breed on those occasions. During the lean years in between, the kakapo’s natural diet consists of coarse leaves, grasses and herbs which lack adequate nutrients for the rearing of chicks.

Environmental and Evolutionary Biologists at the University of Glasgow, working with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, produced a dietary supplement with the aim of boosting egg production of the few remaining kakapo.

University of Glasgow Professor of Zoology David Houston, said: “Kakapo had been reluctant to breed, and when we analysed their food we suspected that it was their diet that was to blame. Egg laying is a demanding time for all birds, and they need to have certain essential nutrients in their food if they are to lay good quality eggs. We experimentally fed Kakapo a specially made supplement, with all the nutrients that we thought they were missing from their natural diet, to see if this would improve their breeding. Results showed that female birds that took the specially formulated food pellets laid significantly more eggs than those that did not. In 2002, the first year in which the new diet was trialled, they laid a total of 67 eggs

Kakapo are still critically endangered, and because they breed only infrequently their recovery will be slow. But this research is a boost to the ongoing Kakapo Recovery Plan, and brings the saving of the species one stage closer to success.

Martin Shannon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gla.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>