A new study has found that removing the face-hair of the baby bird, which is the main component of its natural habitat, has been shown to help the bird survive in harsh conditions.
The study, published in Nature Communications, was led by the University of Oxford and involved researchers from the US and UK.
The researchers found that when the mother bird was in the nest, the baby birds survival rate dropped significantly compared with when it was outside the nest.
The bird, named Bird X, was found to be more successful at adapting to harsh conditions than other bird species.
Bird X was found on a remote island in the North Pacific, about 250km from Japan, and was found with a white body and white patches on its wings and head, as well as with white patches of fur around its head.
Birds have been known to be born with this colouration, and researchers had previously thought that it was due to an evolutionary change from feathers to feathers.
The research showed that removing these white markings caused the bird to be less efficient at hunting.
It was also shown that the removal of the feathers did not affect the overall survival rate of the bird, suggesting that it may be able to cope with harsher conditions.
Professor Matthew Rippon, who led the study, said: ‘Bird X had very low survival rates in the wild, so it was surprising that it survived so well in this harsh environment.’
The bird is found in all areas of the world and, like most other birds, it is one of the most highly migratory in nature.
The population of bird species has dropped over the last few decades, but this study shows that these changes in the habitat are not as dramatic as they once were.’
Bird X is one example of a group of bird-like species that are now considered to be the most vulnerable.
Previous research had suggested that removing their facial hair had beneficial effects on their survival, but it was unclear whether this was true of birds with a face.
‘The survival of a species in the face of extinction has been a key issue in conservation,’ said Professor Rippen.
‘We have been trying to understand how these animals survive under the most extreme circumstances and the effects of removing their feathers have been a major focus of research.’
Bird species have been targeted by human hunters for centuries and are now often considered to have reduced populations.
They are considered to pose a serious threat to other species that rely on them for food, nesting, protection and breeding.
Bird species are also listed as endangered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
‘The birds that are most vulnerable to extinction are those that rely heavily on their habitats for survival and protection, and we have a lot of work to do to understand why this is the case,’ said Dr Kate Wilson, a research fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at Oxford.
‘These are birds that have been on the brink of extinction for thousands of years, and now we know that it is a result of humans doing something that is very much inhumane.’
‘This is just the beginning of what we need to do,’ she added.
‘It is clear that the loss of habitat has consequences for the species that inhabit it.’
We need to keep a close eye on the bird populations in the future and ensure they are protected.’
Bird conservation in the UK is in dire need of attention.
There are currently more than 4,000 species of birds in the country, and more than 600 of them are listed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘endangered’ under CITES.
The most vulnerable are found in the south of England and the west of England, where they are at high risk of extinction.
The UK is currently the second-most threatened species after Australia, and the study showed that the survival rate for birds in this area has fallen from more than 75% to less than 30%.