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Sex ratios observed in 80 species of parrots


  • Editor: Andrew Kitchener

Tiawanna D. Taylor. Current address: School of Biological and Conservation Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa. Tel: +27 0 33 2606032; Fax: +27 0 33 2605105


A number of potential evolutionary and physiological factors may be involved in avian sex ratio bias so that under certain conditions a sex ratio bias may favour males or females within a population. In addition different factors may be important in manipulating sex ratio bias through the different life stages. In this study sex ratio bias was examined in a total of 16 570 captive parrots, representing 80 species, many of which are endangered in the wild, using database records originating form commercial laboratories that offer genetic sexing. Within the species examined 72% showed a male bias this was significant in three species, when adjusted for multiple comparisons. This preliminary study is limited due to lack of data on the age of the individuals sampled. However, the large dataset do suggest that this phenomenon should be further considered by investigators working at a species level where such data can be collected.