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Conserving the Gouldian Finch – How One Man’s Efforts are Making a Difference

Gouldian FinchesThe brilliantly-colored Gouldian Finch is something of an avian anomaly.  One of the most sought-after of all cage birds, it is bred in huge numbers by aviculturists worldwide.  Wild populations, however, are in serious decline, and have been so for over 30 years.  But, in conjunction with governmental and private groups, one dedicated conservationist is helping to brighten the species’ prospects.

Taking Action

Self-made millionaire Michael Fidler was first captivated by Gouldian Finches over 40 years ago, when he chanced upon a group in a store in Manchester, England.  From that point on, he has been concerned for their future.   And while few people can afford to follow in his footsteps, his efforts illustrate the importance of doing whatever is within one’s abilities on behalf of conservation.  Be it through money, ideas, teaching or a new observation, we all have some potential to help. Read More »

Gouldian Finch Infidelity – Cheating to Acquire Better Genes

Gouldian FinchesRecent studies of the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae), an endangered species and popular pet, have revealed that females readily copulate with males other than their mates in order to ensure that the young acquire the best possible genes.

Risky Behavior

Working with finches in captivity and in their natural habitat (Northeastern Australia), researchers at Australia’s Macquarie University found that paired females will indiscriminately cheat on their mates when given the opportunity.  This behavior puzzled he researchers since, if discovered, the females risked abandonment by their mates and would likely be unable to raise their chicks alone. Read More »

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