Talking Bird 4 Letters
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Talking Bird 4 Letters – Most of the extinctions were caused by deforestation in South America, a new study of endangered birds shows
The Brazilian Spix Macaw, as seen in the children’s film Rio, is one of eight extinct birds Photo: Al Wabra Wildlife Conservation
Talking Bird 4 Letters
The Spix’s macaw, the brilliant blue Brazilian parrot species that starred in the children’s animation Rio, has become extinct this century, according to a new assessment of the bird’s endangered species.
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The macaw is one of eight species, including the poo-uli, the Pernambuco pygmy owl and the cryptic tree hunter, that could be added to a confirmed or highly probable extinction list, according to a new statistical analysis by BirdLife International.
Historically, most bird extinctions were of small island species prone to hunting or invasive species, but five of these new extinctions occurred in South America and have been linked by scientists to deforestation.
Stuart Butchart, BirdLife International’s chief scientist, said the new study highlights that an extinction crisis is now unfolding on a large continent, driven by the destruction of human habitats.
“People think about extinction and think about the dodo, but our analysis shows that the extinction is continuing and accelerating today,” he said. “Historically 90% of bird extinctions were small populations on remote islands. Our evidence suggests there is an increasing wave of extinctions sweeping across the continent driven by habitat loss from unsustainable agriculture, drainage and logging.”
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More than 26,000 of the world’s species are now threatened, according to the latest “red list” assessment, with scientists warning that humans are driving a sixth major extinction event.
Four of the eight newly identified bird extinctions occurred in Brazil, which was once home to the Spix macaw. The attractive parrot was caged and traded for 150 years before a wild population was discovered but in 1985, three birds were discovered in the Brazilian jungle. Two were illegally captured for the pet trade, and attempts to breed the final male were unsuccessful. 2016 sightings in the wild are now thought to be caged runaway birds, leaving the last known sighting in 2000.
While captive populations of Spix’s macaws were bred to be reintroduced into restored forest habitat, there were no second chances for the poo-uli, the cryptic tree hunters and leaf-pickers of Alagoas: they had disappeared from the skies forever.
According to a new analysis, published in Biological Conservation, the leaf-picking Alagoas, a small ginger forest bird that takes invertebrates from leaves, became extinct in 2011, disappearing from a large logging patch in Brazil.
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The cryptic poacher was only found in two swaths of the Murici forest in northeastern Brazil in 2002 but has not been seen since 2007 after this small forest was cut down and replaced with sugar cane plantations and grasslands.
The poo-uli, or black-faced honeycreeper, was found on the Hawaiian island of Maui but was last seen in 2004. Attempts to breed the bird in captivity failed.
The study by BirdLife International assessed 51 species rated “critically endangered” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list using new statistical methods to analyze and assess search efforts and the validity of sightings of species on the verge of extinction. .
He found only one species that was less endangered than feared, and recommended removing the “possibly extinct” classification of the Moorea reed warbler in New Caledonia. Of the eight species to be reclassified as extinct, four are “critically endangered (possibly extinct)”.
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They include the glaucous macaw, which was once found in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil before the clearing of its palm grove habitat for agriculture saw it dwindle to a single population in Paraguay. Another is the Pernambuco pygmy owl, a 15 cm tall owl that feeds on insects and has not been seen in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco since 2002, with most of its habitat destroyed by illegal logging.
An accurate assessment of the moment of extinction is difficult with many elusive species but according to Butchart, a “likely extinct” classification is a very careful assessment that almost certainly means that the species is extinct.
Butchart says it’s important not to declare a bird extinct prematurely because ignoring conservation efforts can hasten its demise, but an accurate extinction assessment is essential for efficient conservation work. “We have limited conservation resources so we have to spend them wisely and effectively. If some of these species have left, we need to divert these resources to the rest.”
“Obviously it’s too late to help some of these iconic species, but because we know birds better than any other taxonomic class, we know which other species are most at risk. We hope this research will inspire a redoubled effort to prevent another extinction.” Little is known about where the African gray parrot went, what he did – or who he was with – in those lost years. But when he was reunited with his owner, Darren Chick, in Torrance last week, his English accent was gone and the bird chattered in Spanish, often saying the name “Larry.”
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The happy reunion began to unfold after veterinarian Teresa Micco – who had been running an ad for her missing African gray parrot Benjamin – was contacted by the owners of Happy Tails Dog Spa in Torrance, who said they thought they had found her missing bird. at their Torrance house.
“I heard someone whistle and say, ‘Hello? Hello?’” said Julissa Sperling, owner of Happy Tails with her husband Jonathan, and was at home when the questions led her to the door. anything.”
“I own a dog grooming business, so we put him in a small kennel and took him with us to the store,” he said. “He is the happiest bird. He sings and talks uncontrollably. … He barked like a dog. I’m from Panama and he said, ‘What happened?’ in Spanish.”
Delighted by the bird’s verbal mimicry, he became attached quickly. But he knew he must belong to someone, so the couple started searching the Internet for possible owners. They saw Micco’s ad for his lost bird and thought it might fit.
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While Nigel looks a lot like Benjamin Micco – including his distinctive yellow eyes and red tail – Micco uses a scanner to examine the microchip, which does not reveal any proprietary information.
“I felt so sorry for him, his face changed completely when he found out it wasn’t his,” Sperling said. “But then he said, ‘He’s a microchip so let’s find the owner.'”
It turned out that no one had registered the microchip — which, ironically, Micco, then a veterinary technician, had been inserted into the bird in 2006 — so the paper sales records were traced to the Animal Lovers pet store in Torrance. Surprisingly, the shop kept his old paper records and recorded the number of the tape that was originally on the bird’s leg.
“We both keep records and we have recorded the band number on our sales slip” when the bird was sold, said Tomi Takemoto of Animal Lovers.
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“So I showed up at his house and knocked on his door,” Micco said. “I introduced myself and said, ‘Did you lose a bird?’
When he verified Chick’s name and said he had an African gray parrot, “He looked at me like I was crazy.”
“Fortunately, the owner never moved so it all just came along,” said Takemoto, recalling that he hand-fed Nigel as a chick and that the bird spoke “like” its British owner as soon as he bought it.
Last week’s reunion brought tears of joy to Chick’s eyes. But it didn’t go as smoothly as it should. Nigel initially bites Chick when he tries to pick him up.
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“He’s fine,” Chick said at the end of the week. “This is really weird, I knew it was him from the moment I saw him.”
Thanks to a long-running personal advert for his own bird that went missing for nine months, this is the fifth Gray African reunion facilitated by Micco, who lives on Redondo Beach and is an associate veterinarian at Pointe Vicente Animal Hospital in Rancho Palos Verdes. The bird himself was flying the cage in February when he darted out of a door that had been left open too long.
Micco believes he has been seen several times — one report places the bird near the Point Vicente Lighthouse (and near their old home); another sighting had what he believed to be Benjamin perched on a cable on Gaffey Street near the 110 Freeway in San Pedro.
Benjamin, a 19-year-old pet he’s raised since he was 3 weeks old, also uses a microchip. The birds usually live anywhere from 18 to 30 years, sometimes as long as 50 years.
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“Capturing birds are not used to getting out of their cages, they don’t know how to survive,” Micco said. “When they land on the tree, they don’t see the food bowl.”
The African gray parrot, which has been traded on international markets and is considered vulnerable, is usually kept for companionship and can imitate human speech, making it a popular pet.
Micco said Benjamin’s voice sounded so similar to hers that it fooled her future husband before they got married.