The Galapagos Finch, also regarded as Darwin’s bird, might disappear in a couple of years, according to several mathematical predictions. Finch populations face extinctions in the next decades due to a rather aggressive type of parasitical flies.
This rather unfortunate conclusion is based on study drafted by several biologists, who have been monitoring the Medium Finch population for some time now. The study was published of the 18th of December in the Journal for applied Ecology.
The Finch is rather an umbrella term for dozens of bird species which inhabit the Galapagos Island. Charles Darwin managed to make the bird quite famous after using it in his endeavor to coin his take on the evolutionary theory.
But it would seem that Darwin’s treasured birds might face the possibility of extinction sooner than predicted due to a parasitical fly known as the Philornis downsi. The flie lays its eggs in the birds nest, thus infecting the surrounding are.
According to several testimonies, it would seem that the first nest infestation was documented back in 1997. Since them, the number of Medium Finches has significantly and scientists are preparing for the worst.
In order to unravel the Finch’s destiny, the team of scientists made use of advanced computational methods, in order to predict the bird’s chances of survival. Thus, several mathematical models were employed, each of them projecting a different outcome.
The machine was fed with different aspects of the bird life, including good sources, infestation rates, and meteorological conditions which may, in the term, affect their well-being. Hence, three scenarios were created, each of them predicting three different outcomes. The first scenario, maybe the most favorable for the birds, in which the infestation rate was low and heavy rain would produce a bounty of food sources, would predict that the birds will survive.
Two more scenarios were added in order to see if the bird has a fighting chance or not. In the „bad” and „neutral” scenarios, the Finch population would show steady declining rates. According to the scenario labeled as bad, it would seem that Finches would disappear somewhere between 43 to 57 years. As for the last outcome, labeled as „neutral”, the chances of the bird going extinct still remain, but with a slight delay (65 to 95 years).
The team of scientists working on the case concluded that the best way to prevent the bird population from going extinct is to enforce several pest-control policies. According to a couple of projections, it would seem that if the infestation rate is kept below 40 percent, the Finch might have a fighting change.