No safety in numbers for pin-striped tit babbler

A pin-striped tit babbler at Kent Ridge Park. By analysing genetic material in samples taken from 46 babblers here, scientists traced the trail of genetic decline to about 50 years ago, when large parts of Singapore were urbanised.
A pin-striped tit babbler at Kent Ridge Park. By analysing genetic material in samples taken from 46 babblers here, scientists traced the trail of genetic decline to about 50 years ago, when large parts of Singapore were urbanised.PHOTO: DAVID TAN

Despite healthy population levels in S'pore, species has low genetic diversity, study finds

An old adage claims that there is safety in numbers.

But for the pin-striped tit babbler (Mixornis gularis), a small brown bird that can often be seen flitting on the lower branches of trees in parks and forest edges in Singapore, this may not be the case.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'No safety in numbers for pin-striped tit babbler'. Print Edition | Subscribe