Royalty free photo by Keith Markillie
Bird Alarm Calls Help Rhinos Avoid People — And Possibly Poachers
National Geographic
In Sub-Saharan Africa, red-billed oxpeckers feed on the parasites of rhinos and more than 20 other species of mammal. New research suggests the birds may also serve as sentinels that help rhinos avoid humans—and potentially poachers. The purpose of the oxpeckers’ calls is still being determined, but they help reduce poaching by alerting rhinos to humans’ presence at a greater distance where the accuracy of firearms would be reduced, says Dr. Judith Bronstein University of Arizona EEB professor & BIO5 faculty member.