Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stephen Frye and Threatened Parrot Breed

For those who don't know, Stephen Fry is a comedian, and used to do movies and comedy acts with Hugh Laurie. I think he was also Jeeves with Hugh Laurie being Bernie in a BBC series (but I could be wrong!). Here's the link to the article.

Fry filming threatened parrot breed

Stephen Fry is spending his New Year visiting a threatened species of parrot whose breeding chances are being boosted by the use of a special perfume.

Fry is filming in New Zealand from Boxing Day until mid-January for BBC2 show Last Chance To See, which will be broadcast in later in 2009.

The five-part series celebrates 20 years since the Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine book and radio series, which profiled eight species teetering on the edge of extinction, including New Zealand's native nocturnal parrot, the kakapo.

An unusual technique being developed to encourage breeding is the use of a synthetic stink for male parrots, in a bid to make them more attractive to female birds, following research into why some males have greater mating success than others.

Bird odour is thought to play a prominent role in the breeding success of kakapo males, according to Associate Professor Dianne Brunton of New Zealand's Massey University.

Prof Brunton said: "Some males do extremely well... females queue up and wait for them even when other males are available."

Last Chance to See will portray the issues surrounding some of the planet's most threatened species and the techniques conservationists have used to help them survive.

Kakapo numbers have almost doubled since the original series from writer Adams and naturalist Carwardine, but there are still currently thought to be only around 90 of the parrots left in the world.

In New Zealand, the protected areas of Codfish Island and Anchor Island offer the kakapo a safe haven from predators and allow ecologists to closely monitor the species and mating behaviour.

Fry and his crew are visiting five conservation sites on the mainland and on off-shore islands, those behind the show said.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for posting this!