A study model that’s stuff tabbed an avian version of the dating app Tinder is showing that giving females a bit of nomination between prospective mates can drastically modernize the output of a repeater tastefulness program for a critically endangered species of Hawaiian honeycreeper.

“If we pair the sexuality with the male that she spends increasingly time with, we get increasingly eggs at the end of the season,” said Alison Greggor, a researcher at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Akikiki live only in the mountains on the island of Kauai, and only a few dozen remain in the wild, with extinction predicted within the next few years as wildlife managers struggle to find a way to stop the spread of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In a last-ditch effort to save the species, wildlife managers from a multi-group partnership brought some Akikiki eggs into captivity in 2015. Given the low number of Akikiki left, scientists are looking for ways to modernize the fertility of birds in captivity, with hopes of one day releasing them when into the wild.

Most research on repeater tastefulness programs focuses on maximizing the genetic match between mates. But in a study published in the periodical Conservation Science and Practice last March, Greggor and her colleagues examined whether permitting a sexuality Akikiki to segregate her mate would modernize fertility.

The setup is like Tinder for birds: Instead of swiping left or right, the researchers put the sexuality in an aviary in the middle, sandwiched by two enclosures with one male each on either side of her—she could segregate the male on the right or the left.

At first, the researchers weren’t sure if they’d be worldly-wise to tell the females’ preferences. They placed perches near the males on either side and watched, observing interactions like whether females would share supplies with one male over the other. They found that the female’s nomination was weightier predicted by the male she spent increasingly time next to. And by the end of the tastefulness season, the researchers found that females paired with their preferred mate would lay four to seven eggs on average, while the females with a nonpreferred male only laid two to three eggs.

“Quite a big difference,” Greggor said, and one that could bring a big uplift for the repeater tastefulness program. She points out that this kind of research demonstrates that successful tastefulness isn’t only well-nigh making a good genetic match, and that mate nomination can play a large role “for improving tastefulness outcomes.”