New study to measure effect of hip hop music on native birds

New Zealand’s endemic bird species will soon be subjected to 24 hours of non-stop hip hop music every day for more than two months

New Zealand’s endemic bird species will soon be treated to 24 hours of non-stop hip hop music every day for more than two months

The Department of Conversation has authorized a groundbreaking new study that plans to examine what effect modern hip hop music will have on New Zealand’s native birds.

The study, being conducted in partnership with the University of Waikato, will see the installation of hundreds of high-power stereo systems in various remote locations across the country, with the aim of pumping thousands of hours worth of hip hop beats and rap lyrics into the natural habitats of some of the country’s most precious birds.

The study will observe the reaction of birds such as the kakapo, takahe and the kea, to popular rap artists including Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Lil Wayne.

Studies conducted in Russia last year showed that birds demonstrated an observable appreciation for Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and DOC expert Hugh Robertson is eager to find out if New Zealand’s birds will react similarly to Lil Wayne’s No Worries.

“It’s really interesting” said Robertson. “I think people would often presume that birds are incapable of appreciating music, but in reality, they chirp and dance along very similarly to the way that humans do.”

Robertson was particularly interested in the way flightless birds, such as the kiwi, would respond to the non-stop shouting of rappers like Lil Jon.

“One of the limitations of our study is that a lot of birds have the ability to just fly away from our stereo systems. But the kiwi doesn’t have that luxury, so in all likelihood it will be forced to stay and listen. This will allow us to get a real sense of how the music will affect it over the long term.”

While the study being conducted by Robertson and company is being hailed as a unique step forward in conservation research, it isn’t unprecedented. It is believed that a similar study may have been responsible for the extinction of the Hawaiian Po’ouli in 2004.