London, Sep 24 (ANI): Scientists have devised a rather fragrant solution to save New Zealand's smelly native birds from falling prey to introduced predators in the country-a deodrant.
New Zealand has an abundance of native bird species, including the famous kiwi, but no native land mammals, meaning introduced animals such as cats and stoats have had a devastating impact on bird numbers.
According to Canterbury University researcher Jim Briskie New Zealand birds apparently suffered from body odour, making them an easy target for predators.
Briskie said that unlike their overseas counterparts, which evolved alongside mammals, New Zealand birds emitted a strong smell when preened to produce wax to protect their feathers.
He said the kiwi smelled like mushrooms or ammonia, while the flightless kakapo parrot's odour was like "musty violin cases", possibly contributing to its endangered status.
Briskie has received a 279,000-dollar grant from the Marsden scientific research fund to study native bird body odours over the next three years in the hope of making them less exposed to predators.
"Down the line, if we do find some species are particularly smelly or vulnerable, perhaps I can design a deodorant for kiwis," the Telegraph quoted him as telling the Dominion Post newspaper. (ANI)