Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mauritius: Kestrels, Parakeets and Pigeons

Wildlife reports on a VERY positive outlook for three Mauritius birds that featured in Last Chance To See, namely the Mauritius Kestrel, the Pink Pigeon and the Echo Parakeet. These numbers are looking very good, and have even resulted in the birds being downlisted by the IUCN from Critically Endangered to merely Endangered.
Mauritius Parakeet–a green parrot, males of which have a bright red bill - was once down to just 10 birds in the 1970s, but there are now some 320 birds living in the wild, and the IUCN has announced it has moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered. This good news for conservation adds to an increasing list of conservation success stories from the island of Mauritius, mostly due to the work of the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, who concentrate much of their conservation work there.

This is the third such downlisting to occur on Mauritius in recent years due to their efforts. In 2000, Pink Pigeon, down to just nine birds a decade earlier, was downlisted to Endangered and now numbers 400 birds. Likewise, Mauritius Kestrel, went from just four birds in 1974 and now numbers approximately 1,000 individuals.

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