New Zealanders are killing birds in danger of extinction by accident

Well-meaning residents of the capital of New Zealand may be killing the endangered birds of the city by accident.

What happens is that the chicks of the kākā birds that live in Wellington are having trouble surviving because the locals they are feeding parents with the wrong kind of food.

Wrong food

A Wellington urban ecology team has been tracking the birds that live in the parks and reserves that surround the city, and found that last year 80 percent of the chicks failed to reach adulthood.

When investigating this devastating survival rate, they found that residents who fed adults with foods such as nuts, seeds and bread, which then regurgitate it for their offspring, were causing the chicks to develop metabolic diseases that affect bone strength . It is even believed that if the chicks survive adulthood, their bones are so weak that the least of the blows can cause them to break.

The kākā are a type of large parrot endemic to the islands, but they have been decimated in a very short time.