Many birds are well aware of the signals not only of their own species, but also of other birds living in the neighborhood. If some birds notice the danger and raise the alarm, representatives of other species will also flee. As it turned out, some birds use this behavior to protect their nests from ruin.
A large Australian bird, the variegated flutist crow (Strepera graculina) are not averse to profiting from eggs and chicks from the nests of the red-headed prickly beak (Acanthiza pusilla). The thornbeak is not able to drive away the predator from its nest, its size rarely reaches 10 centimeters, and its weight is 7 grams, while the flutist crow reaches half a meter in length and weighs up to 300 grams. But thorns have developed an effective defense strategy. They begin to imitate the calls that local birds make when there is danger, such as an approaching hawk. The hawk is dangerous even for raven-flayers, so they hurry to hide, leaving the nest of the spiker in peace.
Scientists have conducted an experiment on red-headed thornbills nesting in the vicinity of Canberra. During the period when the nestlings were in the nests, the audio recording of the disturbing calls of the nestlings was played to the adult spikers. In response, the spikers immediately began to imitate the anxious calls of various species of native birds. Depending on their abilities, the birds reproduced signals from one to four species. The researchers also reproduced a recording of these calls of thornbeaks in front of crows-flutists. Hearing the sounds, the crows immediately tried to fly away, or they began to scan the sky in search of danger.
Research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Australian Senate Announces Investigation Into Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna
The investigation was initiated by Green Party representative Senator Janet Rice, with the support of Labor, Independent candidates and representatives of small parties. It is assumed that the alarming rate of decline in the number of flora and fauna, the adequacy of the country's laws that should protect endangered species, and the effectiveness of funding aimed at measures to protect endangered species should be studied.The brown sparrow, she is the red-haired sparrow (lat.Acanthiza pusilla), is the sister of a sparrow.
Scientists, ahead of the investigation, described the situation with endangered species in Australia as a "national shame", and the system and law that are designed to protect them, inoperative.
More than 1,800 species of flora and fauna, as well as ecological systems (such as forests, swamps) are at risk of extinction, and this number is growing. And, most likely, these data are significantly underestimated.
Australian fauna will receive special attention in the upcoming parliamentary inquiry. Nearly 500 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and other animals are eligible for protection under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Australia is responsible for the highest rate of mammal extinction in 200 years. While more species are on the way to extinction. Senator Rice told the Senate that Australia is facing an "animal extinction crisis" and the government is doing nothing to bail out the situation.
“Stunning numbers: over the past 400 years, every third animal extinction on Earth happened in Australia- reminded the senator. - For a country as rich and developed as ours, it is impermissible to leave such a crisis to the next generation. "
Less than 40% of the species recognized as critically endangered nationwide were included in the government's revival plan. The survival of about 10% of the species listed as protected depends on measures to protect them, however, legal documents are not ready for this. For the protection of some other rare, endangered or endangered species, methods are used that are outdated decades ago, without a detailed description of actions to protect animals.
For more than ten years, Australia has not added a single new habitat of rare and endangered species to the special protection register. In some cases, volunteers take on the role of protecting endangered fauna and collect funds in various ways, since the government does not provide the slightest support.
Unity previously published information about the endangered turtles of the Mary River Basin, which were taken care of by volunteers, selling, among other things, chocolate turtles. The government has no plan to protect these reptiles. http://www.unification.com.au/articles/read/4148/
Community organizations on King Island in Tasmania have called on the federal government to intervene urgently to prevent the extinction of two of the rarest bird species (brown thornbill and scrubtit).
Volunteer groups to protect and monitor the endangered species of Australian fauna received the news of the parliamentary investigation with hope, almost no longer believing that the government was really interested in the problems of the flora and fauna of the continent, and that the necessary significant changes in the law on the protection of the Australian fauna will happen before it's too late.
Alla PAVLENKO (based on media materials)