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Loss of vocal culture and fitness costs in a critically endangered songbird

Crates, Ross; Langmore, Naomi; Ranjard, Louis; Stojanovic, Dejan; Rayner, Laura; Ingwersen, Dean; Heinsohn, Robert

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Cultures in humans and other species are maintained through interactions among conspecifics. Declines in population density could be exacerbated by culture loss, thereby linking culture to conservation. We combined historical recordings, citizen science and breeding data to assess the impact of severe population decline on song culture, song complexity and individual fitness in critically endangered regent honeyeaters (Anthochaera phrygia). Song production in the remaining wild males varied...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCrates, Ross
dc.contributor.authorLangmore, Naomi
dc.contributor.authorRanjard, Louis
dc.contributor.authorStojanovic, Dejan
dc.contributor.authorRayner, Laura
dc.contributor.authorIngwersen, Dean
dc.contributor.authorHeinsohn, Robert
dc.date.accessioned2023-02-10T00:48:16Z
dc.date.available2023-02-10T00:48:16Z
dc.identifier.issn0962-8452
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/285131
dc.description.abstractCultures in humans and other species are maintained through interactions among conspecifics. Declines in population density could be exacerbated by culture loss, thereby linking culture to conservation. We combined historical recordings, citizen science and breeding data to assess the impact of severe population decline on song culture, song complexity and individual fitness in critically endangered regent honeyeaters (Anthochaera phrygia). Song production in the remaining wild males varied dramatically, with 27% singing songs that differed from the regional cultural norm. Twelve per cent of males, occurring in areas of particularly low population density, completely failed to sing any species-specific songs and instead sang other species' songs. Atypical song production was associated with reduced individual fitness, as males singing atypical songs were less likely to pair or nest than males that sang the regional cultural norm. Songs of captive-bred birds differed from those of all wild birds. The complexity of regent honeyeater songs has also declined over recent decades. We therefore provide rare evidence that a severe decline in population density is associated with the loss of vocal culture in a wild animal, with concomitant fitness costs for remaining individuals. The loss of culture may be a precursor to extinction in declining populations that learn selected behaviours from conspecifics, and therefore provides a useful conservation indicator.
dc.description.sponsorshipResearch was funded by Cumnock Pty Ltd, Whithehaven Pty Ltd., the Mohamed Bin Zayed species conservation fund, New Sout hWales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Birding New South Wales, Hunter Bird Observers Club, Oatley Flora and Fauna and BirdLife Australia
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherRoyal Society of London
dc.rights© 2021 The Authors.
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.sourceProceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
dc.subjectAllee effect
dc.subjectbioacoustics
dc.subjectconservation biology
dc.subjectcaptive breeding
dc.subjectanimal behaviour
dc.titleLoss of vocal culture and fitness costs in a critically endangered songbird
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume288
dc.date.issued2021
local.identifier.absfor310301 - Behavioural ecology
local.identifier.ariespublicationa383154xPUB18476
local.publisher.urlhttps://royalsocietypublishing.org/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCrates, Ross, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLangmore, Naomi, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationRanjard, Louis, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationStojanovic, Dejan, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationRayner, Laura, College of Science, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationIngwersen, Dean, Birdlife Australia
local.contributor.affiliationHeinsohn, Robert, College of Science, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1947
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage9
local.identifier.doi10.1098/rspb.2021.0225
dc.date.updated2021-12-02T05:02:54Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85103146119
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
dc.provenancePublished by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the originalauthor and source are credited.
dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons Attribution License
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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