African Grey ParrotBy: Zaqir Ladha


Psittacus_erithacus_-perching_on_tray-8d.jpg
Taken by: L.Miguel Bugallo Sánchez. Viewed on 2/14/13. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Psittacus_erithacus_-perching_on_tray-8d.jpg

The African Grey Parrot is a medium sized parrot that lives in the Tropics of West and Central Africa. Scientists agree that parrot is one of the most brilliant birds around the glob. They feed mainly on nuts, seeds, fruits, and leafy matter. Some claim to have seen the parrots eat snails. Because of their amazing ability to mimic speech they are popular pets, which put them in pet trades. Due to this trade a law was polled saying any capture or hunting of animals is illegal, and the commuters will be punished. Unfortunately this does not stop the traders and the African Grey parrot is on the verge of becoming endangered.

Physical Geography & Location


The African Grey Parrot lives in the tropical rainforests of West and Central Africa. The rainforest is very wet, hot and humid. The forests are very dense and thick. The trees form some what of a canopy structure, where sunlight doesn't hit the ground. The trees are very tall, measuring about 167m tall. The trees measure at that hight because of the competition for sunlight and nutrients.
The topical rainforest is located in Central America, North-eastern South America, Southern Asia, very North of Australia, and West and Central Africa. The great bodies of water surrounding the tropical rainforests are the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian ocean; and the Amazon river of South America.
TRF-AGP.jpg
Location of Tropical Rainforests of the globe. 11/03/2013. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm
Capture.PNG
Location of African Grey Parrots. 21/02/2013. http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRQD-3D9vh74GacyyU_j7RCZnLJpoUzvVHOMvqtBPXW9Hctzi0E






Climate


The African Grey Parrots live in Tropical Rainforests with its hot, humid air and a large amount of precipitation per year. The average precipitation in the rainforest is 120 mm/year and the average temperature is 26 degrees Celsius per year. On an annual bases, precipitation ranges from 0 mm-235 mm. The temperature ranges from 23 degrees Celsius-28 degrees Celsius. Through out the year its is sunny or rainy.


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This climatograph show the temperature and precipitation of an ecosystem that the African Grey Parrot lives in. 08/03/2013. http://www.southtravels.com/africa/rcongo/weather.html





Adaptations



Each animal has its own adaptation to its environment. With out the adaptation, the specie would become extinct.

African Grey Parrot

An interesting and amusing adaptation the African Parrot possesses is the ability to mimic noise. This adaptation allows the avian to terrify its predator. An example would be if there was a hawk, then the parrot would mimic the roar of a jaguar to scare off the hawk. It is because of this adaptation that makes them endangered. Humans are entertained when the parrots imitate their masters words.

Strangler Figs

The strangler fig is a parasite and a keystone specie of the tropical rainforest. Without this plant, many species would die due to lack of food and the plant competition would over-exceed and destroy the ecosystem. The strangle fig wraps itself to the trunk of its host (a tree) and squeezes the host, blocking the nutrient flow, while growing on it. Eventually it reaches the canopy and opens it's leaves to block sunlight from the host. After that the host dies of strangulation, insufficient sunlight, and root competition. This adaptation ensures the survival of the fig.

A Strangling Fig wrapped around a trunk of a tree. 13/03/2013 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-up3VZ687zrM/Tft7YBtUfOI/AAAAAAAAA-s/zU9Jq54zv8A/s320/strangle%255B1%255D.jpg
A Strangling Fig wrapped around a trunk of a tree. 13/03/2013 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-up3VZ687zrM/Tft7YBtUfOI/AAAAAAAAA-s/zU9Jq54zv8A/s320/strangle%255B1%255D.jpg

Symbiosis

The African Grey Parrot's main symbiotic relationship is parasitism. They are the victims of parasitism in their feathers, blood stream, and digestive system. Commonly, they get ringworm. Ringworms are parasite that live on the skin and hair of animals. They cause irritation on the skin with a "ring" shaped rash, then it blisters and cracks the skin, increasing the chance of infection. This parasite makes the parrot skin itchy and the parrot plucks it's feathers to stop the itching. Eventually, the parrot is featherless and infected with bacteria.

AnAfrican Grey Parrot plucking its feathers due to a ringworm infection. 13/03/2013 http://www.african-grey-parrot.com/African-Grey-Feather-Pluckng.aspx
AnAfrican Grey Parrot plucking its feathers due to a ringworm infection. 13/03/2013 http://www.african-grey-parrot.com/African-Grey-Feather-Pluckng.aspx







Ecosystem
In ecosystems, there is a cycle that shows energy flow and how animals survive in their environment. Besides Adaptations, animals need energy to live. To obtain this energy, they must eat. Producers (plants) use photosynthesis to make foods for themselves with carbon, water, and sunlight. Plant-eating animals (herbivores) get their energy from eating plants, while carnivores (meat-eaters) eat the herbivores. Some animals, such as humans and lions, are omnivores (plant and meat-eater). Organisms that eat dead organic matter are called detrivores. An example of detrivores are bacteria and fungi.

Food Pyramid-AGP.jpg
This is an Energy Pyramid of an ecosystem in the Tropical Rainforest



AGP-Food Web.JPG
Here is a Food Web of an ecosystem in the Tropical Rainforest






food chain-agp.JPG
Here is a Food Chain showing the top predator to the main food source for most animals.




Human Impact to the Ecosystem
Due to human activities, the Tropical Rainforest is changing and will eventually die. Humans are cutting down trees that block sunlight, causing smaller plants to grow more quickly and increasing the temperature of the biome. .People kill the animals for their fur, bones, and as a sport. This throws the food chain and energy flow off and slowly kills the ecosystem. Some people even kidnap animals to sell as exotic pets.
A popular animal taken for pet trades are African Grey Parrots. They're so popular due to their intelligence and ability to mimic voices. This reduces the population of the animal and kills them off quickly. Not only that, but cutting trees down destroys the parrot's habitat. With the trees being cleared, they are vulnerable to predator attacks. This would kill them off just as fast.

Foreign Species
People who when tot explore Africa found a variety of plants and wondered in other plants would be able to survive there. They were right, but it left with ugly side-effects. That plant took over the ecosystem and nearly killed it. Now many species of plants are foreign. An example would be the Giant Taro. This tree isn't as tall as its competition, but it can still kill plants under it. It has large leaves that expands a great distance. This tree aggressively competes for nutrition. It reproduces quickly and continues to kill the plants under it's massive leaves.


A man standing next to the Giant Taro. As you can see, the plant is very large. 14/03/2013 http://www.eattheweeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/alocasia-macrorrhiza.jpg
A man standing next to the Giant Taro. As you can see, the plant is very large. 14/03/2013 http://www.eattheweeds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/alocasia-macrorrhiza.jpg







Bibliography

Abiotic Factors: http://www.reference.com/motif/science/abiotic-factors-affecting-the-tropical-rainforest
Synbiosis Facts: http://www.petmd.com/bird/conditions/skin/c_bd_feather_plucking#.UULHI9bU-Sp
Adaptation Facts: http://www.thebigzoo.com/Animals/African_Grey_Parrot.asp
Strangler Figs Facts: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rnfrst_plant_page.htm
Human Interaction: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_some_human_effects_on_the_tropical_rain_forest
Foreign Specie Facts: http://www.ehow.com/list_7386493_list-exotic-rainforest-plants.html
Food Web: http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=african+grey+parrot+fod+web&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CEQQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2F11biology-kass.wikispaces.com%2Ffile%2Fview%2FEndangered%2BSpecies%2BBy%2BMudit%2BK.%2BJ..pptx&ei=XslCUZThMsmmrAH_6IG4Dw&usg=AFQjCNFOklmTbvoSpxmehU-CI3nClKrcJg&bvm=bv.43828540,d.aWM

Energy PyramidFruits: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/exotic%20fruitsInsect: http://extension.usu.edu/carbon/images/uploads/InsectPictures/roncollops01.jpg
African Grey Parrot: http://media.venturevancouver.com/bloedel-conservatory-african-grey-parrot-page.jpg
Funny Cat: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jpBOkT-IlYI/TcdN9Vo1L8I/AAAAAAAAArw/dTAFhNNGMuk/s1600/cat-eating-bird.jpg


Food Chain


Black Jaguar: http://www.lubpedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Black-Jaguar-Animal-Wallpaper-2.jpg
Cute African Grey Parrot: http://www.gotpetsonline.com/pictures-gallery/bird-pictures-breeders-chicks/african-grey-parrot-pictures-breeders-chicks/pictures/african-grey-parrot-0006.jpg
Snail: http://www.phoodie.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/escargot1.jpg
Fruits: http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/Shop/media/tropical-fruit-trees.jpg


I chose the African Grey Parrot because my grandparents and great aunts and uncles own this parrot and I love seeing them. I am amused of their ability to mimic voices and copy everything I say to them. They are one of the reasons I want to visit Africa. They are beautiful creatures with a special gift, and I don't want that gift gone forever. So please donate to a foundation to help protect these amazing birds.

Learning Outcomes:
-explain the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors within a Tropical Rainforest biome and ecosystem
-describe relationships between abiotic (air, water, soil, temperature) and biotic (bacteria, plants, animals) elements within the an ecosystem
-explain carious relationships with respect to food chains, food webs, and food pyramid including a producer, consumer, predation, decomposers, and symbiosis
-identify the effects on living things within an ecosystem resulting from changes in abiotic factors such as climate change, water contamination, soil degradation, and deforestation
-explain ways in which natural populations are altered or kept in equilibrium
-explain how species adapt or fail to adapt to environmental conditions
-describe the impact of natural phenomena, such as drought or temperature change, on ecosystems
-give examples of how foreign species can affect an ecosystem
-research and report on situations in which disease, pollution, habitat destruction, and exploitation of resources affect ecosystems and animals

Other Skills:
-Learned how to create a graph on Excel
-Learned that the parrot's habitat is in a small area of Africa
-Learned how to make JPEG photos with ToolSnip
-Learned how to create a Wiki