Birds in New Zealand would need 50 million years to recover from humans

New Zealand national symbol - kiwi, Photo: Wikimedia.org

Since arriving in New Zealand 700 years ago, humans have destroyed the bird world to such an extent that it would take 50 million years to recover, scientists have reported in the journal Current Biology..

The regeneration of such a diverse bird world as it was in New Zealand would take much longer than humanity exists, the authors point out.

More than 70 bird species have become extinct since humans arrived in New Zealand. Another 30 species are on the verge of survival, although measures and efforts to preserve them have been intensified, according to the Hina agency.

Among the endangered species is the kakapo, a large nocturnal peaceful parrot.

The only species of parrot in the world that cannot fly has reached the brink of survival because it is endangered by animals that have arrived with humans, such as rats, martens and cats.

The kakapo, which nests on the ground, evolutionarily has no defensive strategy against these animals.

“If even those critically endangered species become extinct, it would take another 10 million years to recover,” wrote scientists who came to their conclusions by studying fossils and using computer simulations to calculate the results.

Due to its geographical isolation, New Zealand is home to a bird world that is not found anywhere else. Included in this is the New Zealand national symbol – the kiwi, a bird that does not fly.