Dating software a great way to meet birds: Official

'Macaw! Look at the plumage on that!'
Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor

'Macaw! Look at the plumage on that!'

Scientists are following the online dating industry's lead by employing matchmaking software to pair up an endangered species of parrot. Numbers of the Spix's Macaw have dwindled to around 60, all living in captivity. In the wild the breed, which inhabited a small area in the north east of Brazil, is believed to have become extinct in September 2000. The software will try to match parrots according to their family history. Of the existing birds, 54 were hatched in captivity, meaning the Brazilian scientists carrying out the programme know which breeding pairs produced which offspring and can therefore control a widening of the gene pool, giving the Spix's Macaw the best possible chance of thriving when it is eventually reintroduced into the wild.
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