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fattyjwoods

whale killers right-wrong

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To fattyjwoods

 

We are all on your side when it comes to the goal.

 

We all love whales, and respect their intelligence. We all want to stop the whaling and try to get this magnificent animal to thrive.

 

The difference is the way we do it. To me, it is utterly clear as crystal that Greenpeace is using the wrong approach. They have been sending out volunteers to accost whaling ships, for decades now. End result? The Japanese government is so determined to thwart Greenpeace that it is prepared to continue despite being unable to sell the meat, and in the face of losing millions of dollars each year.

 

Isn't it time Greenpeace turned around and said :"We need to try something else."

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bull**** (sorry for my language) if the greenpeace eased pressure off the japanese they'll probably hunt them hunt the whales to extinction.

 

That's where we disagree. You say if Greenpeace backed off, the Japanese would hunt whales to extinction. What you miss is that, Japanese are already hunting the whales to extinction, with Greenpeace going full out! So what you say will happen IF Greenpeace backs off is already happening with Greenpeace fighting! Don't you see the problem you have there?

 

Your premise is that Greenpeace is slowing down the Japanese whaling. Where is your evidence of that? From what I saw in a recent article in Science, the killing of whales by the Japanese for "science" has increased 4x in the last 10 years from 500 whales per year to over 2,000 whales per year. Now, it should be obvious that Greenpeace's tactics are not working. They are NOT keeping the Japanese from killing whales.

 

I honestly dont think that when greenpeace is trying to save whales it is for their pride. Greenpeace is basically trying to help the whales from becoming extinct

 

Sorry, Fattyjwoods, but your own words contradict this. You said, in an earlier post:

but if Greenpeace just lets the Japanese whale, wont that give greenpeace a bad reputtatrion?

 

This says that the motivation for Greenpeace is keeping Greenpeace from getting a bad reputation. And that is pride. It's about Greenpeace's reputation, not about the whales.

 

problem is, my friend. they are going, sooner or later put a big EXTINCT sign beside the picture of the whale. if they keep there yearly hunts up my geuss is the whales will be gone by 2060, that is hunting the same amount of whales every year. the japanese hunt around 1000 whales a year and they are planning to hunt more

 

IF whaling occurs at the present rate. What you and I are dicussing is not whether whaling will make whales extinct. We agree that it will. What we disagree about is, listen carefully, the tactics that will get the Japanese to stop whaling.

 

Now, you admit here that, with all Greenpeace's current tactics in place, the Japanese are planning to increase the number of whales they kill. This means, to me, that Greenpeace's tactics are not working. You seem to think that Japan would increase even more if Greenpeace eased off. I disagree. It looks to me like the increase is a result of Greenpeace's current tactics. It's an "We'll show Greenpeace not to try to dictate to us. We'll increase the number of whales we are taking!"

 

My argument is that, without Greenpeace's current tactics, the economics of the situation will become dominant and cause a decrease in whaling. As SkepticLance has pointed out twice: Japan loses money with its whaling fleet. The only thing keeping it going are government subsidies. Without the goading of Greenpeace, the government could phase out the subsidies, reduce the fleet, and Japan would hunt fewer whales. Maybe even stop altogether.

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To fattyjwoods

 

We are all on your side when it comes to the goal.

 

We all love whales, and respect their intelligence. We all want to stop the whaling and try to get this magnificent animal to thrive.

 

The difference is the way we do it. To me, it is utterly clear as crystal that Greenpeace is using the wrong approach. They have been sending out volunteers to accost whaling ships, for decades now. End result? The Japanese government is so determined to thwart Greenpeace that it is prepared to continue despite being unable to sell the meat, and in the face of losing millions of dollars each year.

 

Isn't it time Greenpeace turned around and said :"We need to try something else."

 

Let me second this -- again. Yes, we all agree to the goal: stop whaling. What we are saying is Greenpeace's approach is not working. Instead of decreasing the number of whales it kills each year, the Japanese are increasing the number.

 

In a war, when things aren't working, change tactics. If you don't, you lose.

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Also, as long as the Japanese do not wipe out the population of whales living off their seas, and do not overfish them, allowing their population to be maintained is it really a problem?

 

By Bascule's logic, YES. Bascule is stating that whales are at least equal in sentience to chimps and thus at a level humans would consider close to us.

 

Now, what are the ethics of eating a sentient species? One that feels and thinks like we do? A sentient food animal? Even Hitler would vomit. There are many, many science fiction stories exploring this theme, many of them with aliens viewing humans as the food animal. In all cases, this is viewed as VERY morally wrong.

 

So, would it be OK to maintain a population of humans and kill them for food? As long as we don't "overfish" the population? How about chimps? Should we use chimpanzees as food animals, as long as we don't "overfish"?

 

Bascule is saying that whales belong in this category. Now, you can disagree with Bascule's basic premise: that whales belong in this category. But, once placed in the category, Bascule's logic is unassailable.

 

Besides, wouldn't this be in their commercial interests anyway?

 

People don't always do things in their long-term commercial interests. And that is what you are talking about -- long-term interests.

 

Japan already is NOT acting in their long-term commercial interests. In this case, the hypothesis advanced by Bascule, SkepticLance, myself, and others is that emotional motivation is over-riding the long-term commercial interests: national self-esteem, ego, pride, face-saving, etc. Also remember that, if whales go extinct, Japan will only suffer very minor commercial harm. Whaling is incidental to Japan's commercial interests.

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If you're talking about smartness, then we already know that pigs are fairly smart animals but we don't really have qualms about killing and eating them, unless for cultural or religious reasons.

 

I'd say the issue is how they're killed, rather than what's being killed. Besides pigs are farmed, whales aren't. If the whale population 'did' need controlling, then there are probably more humane ways than the methods used by 'Japanese whale hunters.'

 

EDIT: I would comment on the 'sentient' aspect, but AFAIK, this still is very much a grey area with dolphins, let alone whales i.e is it more acceptable to eat a parrot over a dolphin. It may sound ridiculous, but parrots (specifically grey parrots IIRC) have displayed remarkable memory, and cognitive abilities. I'll try and find a link. (there's a particular study I had in mind.)

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EDIT: I would comment on the 'sentient' aspect, but AFAIK, this still is very much a grey area with dolphins, let alone whales i.e is it more acceptable to eat a parrot over a dolphin. It may sound ridiculous, but parrots (specifically grey parrots IIRC) have displayed remarkable memory, and cognitive abilities. I'll try and find a link. (there's a particular study I had in mind.)

 

This gets back to my point: whether you agree or disagree with Bascule's categorization of whales as "sentient". It's not about farming with pigs, but that we have all decided that pigs don't qualify as "sentient" and therefore killing and eating them (in the wild as boars or on farms) is morally OK.

 

And yes, parrots have shown cognitive abilities. So have ravens. Is it enough to qualify as "sentient"? Since there are no objective, quantitative measurements, there's no scientific way to answer the question.

 

In all the science fiction stories, the issue is whether the species has technology and culture that we can recognize as such.

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That's where we disagree. You say if Greenpeace backed off, the Japanese would hunt whales to extinction. What you miss is that, Japanese are already hunting the whales to extinction, with Greenpeace going full out! So what you say will happen IF Greenpeace backs off is already happening with Greenpeace fighting! Don't you see the problem you have there?

 

Your premise is that Greenpeace is slowing down the Japanese whaling. Where is your evidence of that? From what I saw in a recent article in Science, the killing of whales by the Japanese for "science" has increased 4x in the last 10 years from 500 whales per year to over 2,000 whales per year. Now, it should be obvious that Greenpeace's tactics are not working. They are NOT keeping the Japanese from killing whales.

 

 

 

Sorry, Fattyjwoods, but your own words contradict this. You said, in an earlier post:

 

 

This says that the motivation for Greenpeace is keeping Greenpeace from getting a bad reputation. And that is pride. It's about Greenpeace's reputation, not about the whales.

 

 

 

IF whaling occurs at the present rate. What you and I are dicussing is not whether whaling will make whales extinct. We agree that it will. What we disagree about is, listen carefully, the tactics that will get the Japanese to stop whaling.

 

Now, you admit here that, with all Greenpeace's current tactics in place, the Japanese are planning to increase the number of whales they kill. This means, to me, that Greenpeace's tactics are not working. You seem to think that Japan would increase even more if Greenpeace eased off. I disagree. It looks to me like the increase is a result of Greenpeace's current tactics. It's an "We'll show Greenpeace not to try to dictate to us. We'll increase the number of whales we are taking!"

 

My argument is that, without Greenpeace's current tactics, the economics of the situation will become dominant and cause a decrease in whaling. As SkepticLance has pointed out twice: Japan loses money with its whaling fleet. The only thing keeping it going are government subsidies. Without the goading of Greenpeace, the government could phase out the subsidies, reduce the fleet, and Japan would hunt fewer whales. Maybe even stop altogether.

 

So are you saying we (greenpeace) shold sit back and relax and watch the japanese hunt and let them do whatever they want? if the current tatics aren't working-what should we do. as i said eariler if greenpeace stops, the japanese will whale. If greenpeace don't stop the japanese will whale as well.

 

either way they will sooner or later hunt the whales to extiction\.

 

what I think is that greenpeace should ease up the pressure or some goverments should ban whaling in their waters. that would stop them a bit.

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fattyjwoods

 

What Greenpeace should do is very clear and has been for years. Accosting whaling ships in the Southern Ocean does not work. If the leadership of Greenpeace is sincere, which I doubt, then they will work on the democratic process, since Japan is a democracy. They will set up an anti-whaling organisation within Japan, using the many conservation minded Japanese to run, and educate the Japanese people, in Japanese, about what is going on. Then the process will play out at the ballot box.

 

To lucaspa

 

There is already a ready made test for sentience. It is the mirror test. Show an animal its reflection in the mirror, and look for evidence that it recognises said reflection as being itself. A dumb animal will not, and will treat the reflection as a rival to be attacked; a potential mate to be courted, or in some other way depending on its species behaviour patterns.

 

A sentient animal will show it understands that the reflection is itself. Chimps, for example, will examine their own behinds in the mirror - something they cannot do any other way. This test has been passed in various ways by several species of dolphins, chimps, gorillas, bonobos, orang utan, and by elephants. It may be a bit tricky making and mounting a mirror large enough for a blue whale, but is possible in theory.

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SkepticLance,

I think that's a fine method for determining whether or not something is self-aware, but it has a problem. All blind animals fail.

Now, I'm not a great admirer of cats- as far as I'm concerened they just mess up my garden. I pointed out to some cat lover that cats are dumb- they don't even react to their reflection in a mirror.

He pointed out that it could be because cats are smart- they know that the image doesn't smell like a cat so they know it's not real.

Good luck applying the mirror test to an animal that generally lives in the dark and percieves its environment by echolocation.

 

Also, re

""What Greenpeace should do is very clear and has been for years. Accosting whaling ships in the Southern Ocean does not work. If the leadership of Greenpeace is sincere, which I doubt, then they will work on the democratic process, since Japan is a democracy. They will set up an anti-whaling organisation within Japan, using the many conservation minded Japanese to run, and educate the Japanese people, in Japanese, about what is going on. "

 

What, like this?

http://www.greenpeace.or.jp/index_en_html

 

Would you like to revisit your opinion of Greenpeace's sincerity?

 

I think that it's quite sensible behaviour for them to continue the work that brought whaling under some sort of controll in the first place and to add on other strategies, like Japanese websites, too.

I agree that the greenpeace boats out there with the whaling ships probably don't achieve a lot directly, but they provide vivid images that do a lot to raise awareness and raise funds.

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John Cuthber said :

 

Would you like to revisit your opinion of Greenpeace's sincerity?

 

I had a look at the reference you posted on Greenpeace Japan. It was a bit hard to see what you were referring to. Perhaps you could specify?

 

There is a general principle that applies to all human organisations. It does not matter if it is volunteers, big business, government departments, or the corner family grocery store. When an organisation is set up, it is for a specific purpose, often idealistic. However, over time the purpose changes. Eventually the number one goal is to ensure the survivial and prosperity of the organisation and its members.

 

This definitely applies to Greenpeace. One of its founders, Dr. Patrick Moore, left in disgust a few years ago and set up his own environmental organisation, for the basic reason that Greenpeace had gone off the rails. In this, Greenpeace is no different to a million other organisations. Changing the basic goal from the ideal to survival and prosperity is a very human thing.

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as i said eariler if greenpeace stops, the japanese will whale. If greenpeace don't stop the japanese will whale as well.

 

That's the faulty reasoning! If Greenpeace stops the confrontation, there are powerful factors that will cause the Japanese to stop. The Japanese are ignoring those factors -- economic -- and are whaling BECAUSE "greenpeace don't stop". It is Greenpeace's activities that are causing the Japanese to keep whaling.

 

So, if Greenpeace stops its confrontational tactics, the Japanese will stop whaling.

 

So are you saying we (greenpeace) shold sit back and relax and watch the japanese hunt and let them do whatever they want? if the current tatics aren't working-what should we do.

 

We've been telling you what Greenpeace should do! Haven't you been paying attention! :mad: Stop the confrontation and let economics work.

 

Also, SkepticLance has suggested starting an education/political movement in Japan to educate the Japanese on 1) how much whaling is costing them in taxes and 2) the harm whaling is doing to the whales. Then let the pressure at the ballot box prevail.

 

what I think is that greenpeace should ease up the pressure or some goverments should ban whaling in their waters. that would stop them a bit.

 

I don't really think you mean "greenpeace should ease up the pressure". That goes against everything else you've been saying.

 

The territorial waters of a country only extend 12 miles from the coast -- at most (the USA only recognizes a 3 mile limit). So banning whaling "in their waters" isn't going to do a bit of good. All of whaling done by the Japanese happens in international waters and no country can stop it. The oceans are free.

 

Note: subsistence whaling by Inuits and Laplanders happens in territorial waters, but that whaling is minor and necessary for those people to eat.

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What, like this?

http://www.greenpeace.or.jp/index_en_html

 

Would you like to revisit your opinion of Greenpeace's sincerity?

 

No. Because this is only a webpage advertisement for Greenpeace. It's not the type of grassroots organizing and education that is needed. Also, it glorifies the confrontational tactics that are the problem.

 

I agree that the greenpeace boats out there with the whaling ships probably don't achieve a lot directly, but they provide vivid images that do a lot to raise awareness and raise funds.

 

And that is the problem! The goal isn't to raise awareness of Greenpeace or to raise funds for Greenpeace: the mission is to stop whaling!

 

What SkepticLance and I are saying is that Greenpeace has placed the welfare of Greenpeace above the welfare of the whales.

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There is already a ready made test for sentience. It is the mirror test. Show an animal its reflection in the mirror, and look for evidence that it recognises said reflection as being itself. ... A sentient animal will show it understands that the reflection is itself. Chimps, for example, will examine their own behinds in the mirror - something they cannot do any other way. This test has been passed in various ways by several species of dolphins, chimps, gorillas, bonobos, orang utan, and by elephants.

 

You have used "self-aware" as = "sentience". However, as I was using "sentience", perhaps a better synonym would have been "conscious", as in "consciousness".

 

Biologist (London). 2000 Sep;47(4):207-10. Animal consciousness.

O'Connell S.

 

"Dr Miriam Rothschild had an owl who became so jealous when Rothschild's daughter was born, the bird would try to attack both her and the child. Animals can often appear to have emotions, to be highly intelligent, motivated and sentient but are they conscious?"

 

Self-aware is " characterized by an awareness of one's own personality or individuality" And that describes what is happening in your test: the animal is aware of its individuality.

 

Sentience is "having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge" As generally used it is synonymous with "sapience" or "consciousness", basically, having intelligence, perception, knowledge comparable to H. sapiens.

 

Consciousness is "perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation ... capable of or marked by thought, will, design, or perception"

 

The standard test of sentience is the Turing test, which we can't do with the species you mention because we can't communicate with them. Another test of sentience is manipulating technology. The species you are talking about don't. This doesn't mean that the species are not sentient, just that the current (inadequate) tests can't be done or show negative.

 

But no, looking in a mirror and recognizing "self" is NOT a recognized test for sentience or consciousness. It is only a test of awareness of the individuality. You can argue that such an awareness is a necessary component of sentience or consciousness, but it is not a sufficient component.

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lucaspa

 

Agreed that the mirror test is not an accepted test for sentience. The reason I suggested it, is that it appears to correlate with higher thought processes. The only animals to have passed that test are those we would expect to have higher thought, as shown by brain size relative to body size, complex social interaction, ability to learn to use tools, etc.

 

The mirror test is a nice simple test, that does not depend on any particular pre-learning or 'culture'.

 

I suspect that other species will be shown to pass that test in the next few years. More cetaceans, and possibly even some birds. Several members of the parrot and crow families have well developed forebrains, a brain size to body size ratio as high as chimps, and apparently well developed communication skills. Some, like New Zealand's kea parrot, and the New Caledonian crow have even been seen to use tools.

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The mirror test (aka mark test) tests whether an animal is self-aware (i.e. is aware of itself as an individual independant from other members of its own species).

 

Up until the early 90s it was conducted only on land animals. Since then it has been conducted on dolphins and certain whales. Dolphins and beluga whales both passed.

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Lucaspa,

The images raise awareness of both greenpeace and the whaling.

I wonder how you expect greenpeace to do anything without raising money to cover the costs of doing it.

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,and also what tatics do you guys think will stop the whaling. As it have been proven harassing the ships arent helping. But it has been proven in years ago that leaving the japanese goverment alone isnt goning to stop them either (just look at the japanese whaling before greenpeace intervened.) If they would just stop because of pride they would have done so before anybody tried to make them stop

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To fattyjwoods

 

What has changed in the interim is that whaling has become non economic. The older generation that bought whale meat is dying off and the new generation is less interested. Whale meat is not selling, and whaling is losing money.

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lucaspa

 

Agreed that the mirror test is not an accepted test for sentience. The reason I suggested it, is that it appears to correlate with higher thought processes. The only animals to have passed that test are those we would expect to have higher thought, as shown by brain size relative to body size, complex social interaction, ability to learn to use tools, etc.

 

So it's part of a test for sapience. Species that can't pass the mirror test are eliminated as being sapient. But by itself it is not sufficient to establish sapience. I can accept that.

 

Bascule's position, which I agree with, is that it is unethical to use a sapient species as a food animal (unless there are very special and desperate circumstances).

 

I suspect that other species will be shown to pass that test in the next few years. More cetaceans, and possibly even some birds.

 

According to Glider, some cetaceans have. I hope he posts a reference. I have seen papers indicating cognitive abilities in several birds, including parrots and ravens.

 

Some, like New Zealand's kea parrot, and the New Caledonian crow have even been seen to use tools.

 

Do you have a citation for this? I'd like to put it in my FAQ file for the times creationists try to tell us how "unique" humans are. :)

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,and also what tatics do you guys think will stop the whaling.

 

We've told you several times! Go back in the thread and read.

 

But it has been proven in years ago that leaving the japanese goverment alone isnt goning to stop them either (just look at the japanese whaling before greenpeace intervened.)

 

Where are these figures? And please, dont use a Greenpeace website. Find a more neutral one. I told you about the article in Science documenting and INCREASE in Japanese whaling AFTER Greenpeace intervention.

 

If they would just stop because of pride they would have done so before anybody tried to make them stop

 

That makes no sense. Before the Japanese were actually eating whale meat. So there was an economic reason to whale. However, since then, as SkepticLance has pointed out, the market for whale meat has all but disappeared. Very few people are eating it anymore. But by the time this happened, Greenpeace had backed the Japanese into a corner and was trying to force them to quit whaling. Now we have the pride issue keeping whaling going.

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Lucaspa,

The images raise awareness of both greenpeace and the whaling.

I wonder how you expect greenpeace to do anything without raising money to cover the costs of doing it.

 

And again you are putting the interests of Greenpeace above the interest of the whales! We don't need images of Greenpeace ships squaring off against Japanese whaling vessels to raise awareness. The images just bolster the macho image of some Greenpeace members.

 

1. Greenpeace is into other projects. Money raised from those could be used to fund an education and political campaign.

2. OR, Greenpeace could simply start the education and political campaign, announce it is doing that and stopping the overt confrontation, and raise money in the USA and other countries to fund the education and political campaign! DUH!

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To lucaspa

 

Here is a web site on tool use by the crow.

 

http://language.psy.auckland.ac.nz/crows/our-research.htm

 

I have not been able to locate my reference to observations of kea using tools, and it is apparently rare. However, the kea (mountain parrot) is unique in being the world's only alpine parrot, the world's only meat eating parrot, and one of the most intelligent birds in the world. Here is a Wiki reference.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kea

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According to Glider, some cetaceans have. I hope he posts a reference. I have seen papers indicating cognitive abilities in several birds, including parrots and ravens.
Here are a couple of papers on the mirror test in dolphins:

 

Reiss, D. and Marino, L. (2001). Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98 (2001), pp. 5937–5942.

 

Marino, L. (2004). Dolphin cognition. Current Biology, 14: 21, 910-911

 

This paper shows also how the test was conducted.

 

I can't find the stuff on belugas. It's been a while since I read this, so I may have confused myself.

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Here are a couple of papers on the mirror test in dolphins:

 

Reiss, D. and Marino, L. (2001). Mirror self-recognition in the bottlenose dolphin: A case of cognitive convergence. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98 (2001), pp. 5937–5942.

 

Marino, L. (2004). Dolphin cognition. Current Biology, 14: 21, 910-911

 

This paper shows also how the test was conducted.

 

I can't find the stuff on belugas. It's been a while since I read this, so I may have confused myself.

 

Thank you. It's nice, isn't it, that PNAS makes a lot of papers available for free.

 

Well, sometimes I lose track of where I read/saw something, too. Keep looking for the reference to belugas. If you come across it, then you can post it here.

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To lucaspa

 

Here is a web site on tool use by the crow.

 

http://language.psy.auckland.ac.nz/crows/our-research.htm

 

I have not been able to locate my reference to observations of kea using tools, and it is apparently rare. However, the kea (mountain parrot) is unique in being the world's only alpine parrot, the world's only meat eating parrot, and one of the most intelligent birds in the world. Here is a Wiki reference.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kea

 

Thank you. Here is a reference on cognitive thinking in crows/ravens:

1. N Williams, Evolutionary psychologists look for roots of cognition. Science 275 (3 Jan): 29-30, 1997.

 

I looked in the Wiki reference list and this might be a reference for tool use in the kea:

Gajdon, G.K., Fijn, N., Huber, L.(2006) Limited spread of innovation in a wild parrot, the kea (Nestor notabilis). Animal Cognition, 9, 173-181. Never mind. I found the abstract at this page: http://www.springerlink.com/content/h10hg5138v4ll234/

 

This video might have it: ^ a b Kea - Mountain Parrot, NHNZ. (1 hour documentary) {the link is at the Wiki page). Since you are more interested than I, you might have more desire to sit thru the 1 hour video. :)

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