Saturday, March 28, 2009

How the Pink Pigeon Escaped the Dodo's Fate

Isobel Shepherd-Smith has a nice article on The Times website about the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and how it has been working to bring back native creatures from the brink of extinction. The article ticks many of the Last Chance To See boxes with mentions of Carl Jones, Dodos, Mauritius Kestrels, Pink Pigeons, Echo Parakeets, Gerald Durrell, Round Island, and Rodrigues.
In the Seventies the kestrel, the only raptor on the island, was one of the rarest birds in the world – only four lived in the wild. Today there are more than 800.

In 1980 the number of pink pigeons barely made double figures; 27 years later there were 380. In the 1980s the emerald green echo parakeet numbered little more than a dozen; now there are well over 300.
[...]
“At the start of this conservation work in the 1970s the future of the endemic species in Mauritius and Rodrigues seemed bleak and many thought that few could be saved from extinction. Thirty years later the long-term conservation of all the Mascarene [Mauritius, RĂ©union and Rodrigues] endemics is within our grasp.”

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