Tasmania’s endangered swift parrots have another threat to contend with—gender imbalance.
Due to habit loss and predation from the introduced sugar glider, the number of mature swift parrots remaining has dwindled to around 2,000. Of those, an estimated 75% of are male, creating a 3-to-1 gender imbalance.
When their aren’t enough females to go around, competition among males increases significantly and they become much more aggressive in their pursuit of females. Although the species is typically monogamous, scientists have observed females mating with multiple males just to make the harassment stop.
The situation is worsening the species’ march towards extinction, as females exhausted by too much mating produce fewer chicks than females in a typical monogamous pair.
We aviculturalists can learn from the behavior of swift parrots. In order to achieve the best breeding results, we need to make sure our aviaries have an equal number of males and females, and that any aggression and harassment of nesting pairs is kept to a minimum.
Via Business Insider.