Gary Fitt, Brisbane.
One important user is Prof Simon Griffith in the School of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney. Simon’s research group works on the ecology, behaviour, genetics and evolution of Australia’s grassfinches, but specialising on the Zebra Finch, Gouldian Finch, Longtailed Finch and now the Blackthroat (https://griffithecology.com/ ). Simon’s group has been involved with Gouldian research for many years and Dr Sarah Pryke, whose work led to the development of the NFB supplements, was once a Postdoc with Simon.
In their current research program Prof Griffith maintains large aviary populations of zebras and Longtailsand he and his students have been using the supplements for some time as part of their
management regime. In Simon’s words – “we use both Prima and the Micronutrients supplements as part of our fresh food mix to give all of our breeding zebra and long-tailed finches a boost when are breeding them in our research program. It’s important for our research that we maintain healthy birds that are ready to breed when required and these supplements enable us to standardise their food throughout the year and manipulate when they breed. We’re very pleased with the results”.
Naturally for Birds is very happy to support Simon’s research program and always look forward to the interesting results which come out. One current project is on the genetics of bill colourin the Yellow Billed Longtail (Poephila acuticauda acuticauda) and Red Billed Longtail (Poephila acuticauda heckii). Yellow Bills occur in the Kimberley region of WA and extends eastwards into the Northern Territory and the Red-billed Longtail which occurs in the Northern Territory and east into Queensland. Simon has shown there is a relatively narrow overlap zone between the two subspecies, which is stable and beyond which there is little introgression of genes between the subspecies. (Griffith S. C. & Hooper D.M. (2017) Geographical variation in bill colour in the Long- tailed Finch: evidence for a narrow zone of admixture between sub-species, Emu – Austral Ornithology 117:141-150.)