The world’s only alpine parrot species actually stayed in the mountains to avoid humans, Science News
Social distancing has become the new normal. In fact, the pandemic-related changes in our social interactions are expected to leave a lasting imprint on how we interact in the near future. While many were relieved by the extent of limited contact with others, the indefinite distance became a challenge for many in a civilization heavily dependent on social capital.
Now, a study sheds light on the reasons why a rare species of parrot may have migrated to the mountains.
Alpine parrots are a rare and highly endangered species found in New Zealand, and researchers believe parrots’ adaptive capacity could help them immensely as the climate crisis worsens. It turns out that parrots have adapted to a life in the mountains simply to escape the turmoil caused by human societies.
Known colloquially as the ‘kea’, they are considered the only alpine parrots in the world, although research suggests the birds were previously found in different parts of the country.
The long-term consequences of climate change on Alpine parrots are diverse and dire. The kea could perish in the face of competition to survive! Scientists are therefore delighted that the bird has left for other territories, calling it a mark of its adaptability, because if the bird was able to move to the mountains just to escape humans, it could continue to migrate appropriately. as warming sets in.
Due to the warming induced by climate change, alpine environments will retreat, with many species threatened with extinction.
In the study, which was published in the journal Molecular Ecology, scientists compared the DNA of birds to kākā, a species of sister parrot that lives in forests. They found that there was not much difference between them, suggesting that the birds “adapted to using such open habitat because it was the least disturbed by human activity.”
European researchers have warned of the damaging effects of warming on alpine species, saying 22% of glacial species in the Italian Alps will disappear after glaciers melt. But even then, scientists worry about the species’ future only on the grounds that it may have nowhere to go once the glaciers melt.