Too many males for critically endangered seabird


Dating is tough if you're a Magenta Petrel. The critically endangered seabirds (also known as the Chatham Island Taiko) are so spread out that they can't find mates, and currently face a gender inequality that could force the species into extinction, according to BirdLife International.

Only 8 to 15 breeding pairs of the petrels are known to exist. Of the remaining, non-breeding, adult population, 95% of the birds are male. According to BirdLife, this "suggests that critically low population levels may be causing male birds difficulty in attracting a mate. Their calls are too spread out to attract the infrequent females which pass by."

But all hope is not lost. Petrel chicks (which aren't yet old enough to breed) exist in an even male-to-female gender ratio, and now conservationists are trying to create a new, predator-free breeding colony to give the males a better chance at finding mates.

Magenta Petrel populations have dropped an estimated 80% over the last four decades.

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