This week we’re giving extra attention to birds, bees and all the pollinators that keep our ecosystems in order. For today’s edition, let’s have a word about the Hihi bird—a rare species of bird that was recently reintroduced to a nature reserve in New Zealand after being regionally extinct for 130 years.

Hihi actually translates to “the first ray of sunshine” and they are an essential part of a healthy forest. That’s because these rare birds serve as pollinators to indigenous plants as they fly from flower to flower for their daily meals.

Reintroducing any species to a region is no easy task, but scientists have been making use of new remote recording devices that ‘eavesdrop’ on these beautiful birds, allowing them to find out where the birds are congregating and assess the success of the reintroduction without impacting the group. This marks the first time that scientists in New Zealand were able to track a species based only on their bird calls, and apparently, it’s allowing the scientists to fine-tune their reintroduction efforts.

Considering the success of the scientists in New Zealand, we shouldn’t be surprised if more acoustic devices starting being used in other parts of the world to help protect precious bird populations.

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