Habitual tool use innovated by free-living New Zealand kea

TitelHabitual tool use innovated by free-living New Zealand kea
MedientypJournal Article
Jahr der Veröffentlichung2018
AutorenGoodman, M., T. Hayward, and G. R. Hunt
ISB Nummer2045-2322

The emergence of flexible tool use is rare in the animal kingdom and thought to be largely constrained by either cognitive ability or ecological factors. That mostly birds with a high level of intelligence innovate tool use in captivity is consistent with the former hypothesis. We report here the first documented case of habitual tool use innovated in the wild by a bird species only known to have used tools in captivity. Trap-boxes containing food-bait and snap-trap[s] were installed in the remote Murchison Mountains, New Zealand, from 2002 to catch introduced stoats. Kea tampered with the trap-boxes in various ways. Over approximately 2.5 years, sticks were found inserted into at least 227 different trap-boxes that were up to 27 km apart. Video footage confirmed that the stick insertion was kea tool use. Trap-boxes are unlikely to have provided the only possibility for kea tool use in their habitat given their extractive foraging and skilled object manipulation. We argue that they instead greatly facilitated the opportunity for tool use, thus increasing the chance that kea would invent the behaviour. The innovation of tool use by kea in response to facilitation provides rare field support for the cognitive constraints hypothesis.

Eine Liste von Vogelarten, für welche in Gefangenschaft Werkzeuggebrauch gezeigt wurde, zu denen gleiches in freier Wildbahn (bisher) nicht nachgewiesen ist,, weist Springsittiche als Werkzeugnutzer aus (S. 2) .


Die dümmsten Märchen nennt man Religion. {Erhard Blanck}