A new breed has emerged in Australia of swans that reflect the world’s elephants, according to an animal conservation group.
The Swan Guardian says the animals are so different to any other that they have their own language, their own distinctive facial features and their own set of songs.
Swans are often used to make babies, so this could be a boon for the future of the endangered species.
Swan Guardian founder Dr Ian Scott said the animals were an inspiration for children to be able to learn about the world around them.
“They’re a great example of how nature has been brought to life in a way that makes a lot of sense to children,” he said.
“It’s a very important message that you can learn from these swans.”
The birds’ song is also unique to Australia.
“The Swan Guardian have a unique singing voice,” Dr Scott said.
They have a very distinctive voice, a unique melody.
“That’s one of the reasons why they’re such an amazing example of the power of language to communicate across cultures.”
Swans were used to teach children how to swim, so it is great to see them being used in other ways.
“We’re also very interested in the conservation of the Swan Guardian as they do a lot for the environment and they’re very intelligent, they can use their song as a way of teaching children about nature and being able to listen to their own voices,” Dr. Scott said, describing the birds as an inspiration to children.
Swan Guardians are the largest and most social species of swan.
They live in the south-west of Australia, near the coast of Tasmania.
They are found in a variety of habitats, from the water to the treetops.
They also breed for their eggs.
“There’s really a need for conservation to have these magnificent birds in the wild,” Dr Stuart Glynn, from Sydney’s Natural History Museum, said.
The group has been breeding swans for more than a decade and has had more than 70 specimens.
“These are the best-preserved swans in the world, but they are extremely vulnerable and they have been extinct for more or less 100 years,” Dr Glynn said.
Swains were once a common sight in Australia, but their numbers have fallen over the last 50 years.
Some species have declined by more than 90 per cent while others have declined more than 60 per cent.
“One of the challenges with these birds is that they’re so large, they’re really heavy-footed, they have really high-energy reactions, they react very quickly to predators and they do have a big brain,” Dr Rona Wiebe, from Tasmania’s Natural Heritage Museum, told ABC Radio.
“If we do get a good bird, we know it’s not going to have any problems because we can have a good study, and we can actually do a great job of monitoring its behaviour.”
The Swan Guardians will be using their new songs to raise money for the Australian Wildlife Trust, and will be taking part in the Great Swan Festival in the southern state of Queensland in May.