Dominique Botvin, professor of animal ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) who authored the study, said that such “unselfish, social problem-solving behavior” was first observed in birds.
The researcher added that it was a surprise to the research team because none of them had heard of animals cooperating in removing the tracking devices.
The bird trackers were attached using a light strap and were designed to have minimal impact on them. But within an hour, all the birds worked together to remove the belts, MTI wrote.
We were quite shocked at first because not only did this mean that the birds were behaving differently and trying to remove the trackers, but also that the trackers likely affected their behaviour.
Said the researchers, whose study was published in the Australian journal Field Ornithology. Interestingly, magpies that did not have such a device also helped to take off the tracker. According to Botvin, this “saving behavior” may refer to a species’ ability to be altruistic, that is, whether it has a propensity for selfless help.
It is a combination of a truly developed social behavior, as well as problem-solving behavior. Not only are problems being solved as a team, but the helper magpie isn’t really rewarded
The researcher explained.
Understanding how animals react to certain changes in their environment can help us understand whether they will be able to handle the new situation in the long term, whether they will be able to survive, or whether we will need to change our practices.
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