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Why the kookaburra’s iconic laugh is at risk of being silenced

Still Waters

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How long has it been part of the Australian landscape? Indigenous Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri people named the “guuguubarra”, so for at least 65,000 years.

Genetic analysis suggests its ancestors can be traced back roughly 16.3 million years. So we can be sure kookaburras have been laughing for a very, very long time.

It is shocking, then, that the laughing kookaburra is now in trouble. A combination of human-driven factors – climate change, bushfires and land clearing – is rapidly driving down numbers of this iconic kingfisher species across its range along Australia’s east coast.


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