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Hihi research: What the stitchbird’s plight means for threatened species everywhere

One of New Zealand’s rarest native birds has shown how threatened species everywhere are facing a tougher time adapting to our fast-changing planet.

Scientists have already shown how domesticated animals and wild creatures that aren’t threatened can adapt to different environments if they’re flexible enough, could shift ranges, or can simply evolve.

But new research has painted a more troubling picture for those species moving toward the brink.

Because threatened species typically couldn’t move – either because most of their habitats had been destroyed or because the risk of shifting was too dangerous – the researchers wanted to know whether they could adapt genetically….

To read the full article please see here.

The full article was written by Jamie Morten and published in the New Zealand Herald 24th Feb 2019.

Written by Dr John Ewen

I have been interested and working with hihi since I was involved with establishing the Tiritiri Matangi island population through translocation in 1995. I am now employed as a Research Fellow at the Zoological Society of London and have been here since 2004. My research is multi-disciplinary and focusses on small population biology and management. I use decision science to assist in planning hihi management and drive our applied research with this species and have experience in molecular and behavioural ecology, wildlife health and nutrition and reintroduction biology.


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