Kevin Parker

Doctor of Philosophy, (Ecology)
Study Completed: 2011
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The impacts of translocation on the cultural evolution of song in the North Island saddleback or tieke (Philesturnus rufusater)

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Bird song, like human language, shows great regional variation. Mr Parker used translocated island populations of North Island saddlebacks to study how this variation develops. He found that new songs rapidly emerge following translocation between islands. Critically, the birds themselves distinguish between songs from different islands and show a preference for local familiar songs. Mr Parker’s findings are significant as they demonstrate how conservation management can lead to rapid changes in fundamental biological behaviours.

Professor Dianne Brunton
Professor Doug Armstrong
Professor Isabel Castro