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Bird coloration and the wildlife trade - a global analysis

September 16, 2022

Publication Alert! The Scheffers lab PI, Brett Scheffers, published a paper in Current Biology titled "Wildlife trade targets colorful birds and threatens the aesthetic value of nature". Lead author and previous visiting post-doc in the lab, Rebecca Senior, led the paper. We combine data on passerine plumage color with bird trade data, finding that unique coloration—prized by birdwatchers and typical of flagship species—is also associated with trade and extinction risk. The tropics are an epicentre of color, but loss of desirable species would erode aesthetic value and mute nature’s color palette.

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