Quantcast

Famke Janssen showcases her legs in a black coat and embroidered suede miniskirt during stroll

Famke Janssen showcases her legs in a black coat and embroidered suede miniskirt during stroll in New York City By Dan Heching For Dailymail.com ...
More

    John Leslie NOT GUILTY of groping woman’s breasts in 2008 

    John Leslie collapses and cries as he is found NOT GUILTY of groping woman's breasts at Christmas party in 2008 by jury after 23...

    Coronavirus Sweden: Authorities to bring in local lockdowns as Covid cases rise

    Swedish authorities to bring in local lockdowns as coronavirus cases rise - after country resisted harsh restrictions and relied on social distancing to halt...

    John Leslie’s not guilty sex assault verdict too late to save career

    How John Leslie went from squeaky clean Blue Peter presenter to being dogged by scandals including false Ulrika Jonsson rape claim and threesome sex...

    Conservationists are concerned by new dialect squawked by Puerto Rican parrots bred in captivity

    Rare Puerto Rican parrots bred in captivity will fail to mix with wild ones because they have developed new squawking dialects in captivity, conservationists fear

    • Puerto Rico’s parrot population was a million strong by the 1500s
    • Colonizers landed and destroyed their habitat, reducing numbers to 13 by 1970
    • In 1973 the first captive populations were established
    • In 2013 a scientist realized the parrots bred in captivity had a different dialect
    • Since then they have been working to rid the parrots of their new squawks 

    Puerto Rico’s endangered parrots are facing a new threat to their survival: their strange dialects. 

    In a phenomenon never seen before, Puerto Rican parrots bred in captivity, with a view to their release into the wild, were communicating with a different dialect to the wild populations.

    The new language posed a problem, because it meant that the reintroduced birds would not socialize and eventually breed with the wild parrots, seriously hampering efforts to reintroduce the birds to their natural habitat. 

    The Puerto Rican parrot is endangered, with numbers plummeting as their habitat vanished

    El Yunque national forest was home to two parrot populations - one wild, one captive

    El Yunque national forest was home to two parrot populations – one wild, one captive

    In the 1970s there were only 13 Puerto Rican parrots left in the wild, down from a population of a million when European colonizers arrived in 1493.

    Scientists began to breed the parrots in captivity, in a bid to prevent the birds from becoming extinct.

    By 2006 there were 600, living in four separate populations: a captive flock in El Yunque forest, which was first formed in 1973; one captive and one reintroduced flock in Rio Abajo State Forest; and the remaining original wild flock in El Yunque.

    In 2013 Tanya Martinez, a conservation biologist with the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Project, run by the Puerto Rico department of natural and environmental resources, noticed something strange about the different parrot groups.

    She realized that the three captive populations sounded different to the one wild group. 

    ‘If you would go into the El Yunque forest to work with the wild population, it would almost sound like a different species’ from the captive birds, she said, according to National Geographic.

    A Puerto Rican parrot is pictured inside an aviary, as part of the breeding program

    A Puerto Rican parrot is pictured inside an aviary, as part of the breeding program

    Parrot chicks were given to Hispaniolan Parrots as surrogate parents

    Parrot chicks were given to Hispaniolan Parrots as surrogate parents 

    The three sites that supported Puerto Rican parrots: (1) El Yunque National Forest, (2) Rio Abajo Commonwealth Forest, (3) Maricao Commonwealth Forest

    The three sites that supported Puerto Rican parrots: (1) El Yunque National Forest, (2) Rio Abajo Commonwealth Forest, (3) Maricao Commonwealth Forest

    She began researching their calls, and recording the noises.

    Martinez converted more than 800 hours of bird recordings to visual displays called spectrograms, and the images were grouped according to their similarity.

    Looking at the two most common calls – the caw and the chi, which birds make to keep in contact with each other – she found significant differences. 

    Captive birds made caw and chi calls with at least two different syllables, while the wild El Yunque birds made entirely different calls, described as being essentially a single syllable on repeat.  

    The difference, Martinez believed, came from the Puerto Rican parrot chicks being raised by closely-related Hispaniolan parrots – which were relatively plentiful in their native countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    The Puerto Rican chicks mimicked their Hispaniolan surrogates’ squawks.

    Furthermore, the captive Rio Abajo group began to sound distinct from its captive parent flock in El Yunque, and after the Rio Abajo captive birds were reintroduced into the Rio Abajo forest, the calls changed again. 

    Martinez finished her study in 2017, shortly before Hurricane Maria ravaged the island and wiped out the remaining wild population in El Yunque.

    Hurricane Maria, which hit in October 2017, destroyed the remaining wild parrot population

    Hurricane Maria, which hit in October 2017, destroyed the remaining wild parrot population

    Conservationists are now working to reintroduce more of the parrots, and blend their dialects closer to the original sound.

    They have stopped using Hispaniolan parrots as surrogates, and have begun gradually reintroducing the birds – giving them time to watch, listen, and learn to mimic the existing populations.

    Earlier this year 30 parrots were reintroduced to El Yunque, as the conservationists’ efforts begun to pay off. 

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest Posts

    Manchester United ‘want £20m to sanction Phil Jones’s exit’

    Manchester United 'to hold out for £20m' for unwanted centre back Phil Jones... despite 28-year-old playing just eight games in 12 MONTHS Phil Jones finds...

    What if I can’t pay the bill to remove cladding on my block of flats?

    I live in a block of flats with dangerous cladding and can't afford the potential £40,000 bill to get it removed, what can I...

    How Trump plowed through $1 billion, losing cash advantage

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s sprawling political operation has raised well over $1 billion since he took the White House in 2017 —...

    MAFS’s Michael Goonan celebrates 30th birthday in bathtub with women

    Rub-a-dub-dub! Married At First Sight's Michael Goonan celebrates his 30th birthday by getting cosy with TWO women in a bathtub By Monique Friedlander For Daily...