Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mauritius Island Life

Here's an excellent essay about the wildlife of Mauritius, written by by Mark Daffey and published on "The Smart Set - Grand Tour" page back in January. The essay covers Dodos, Pink Pigeons, Mauritius Kestrels, Echo Parakeets and more.
From a total of just nine of the endemic Pink Pigeons remaining in the wild in 1990, a successful captive breeding program has increased their numbers on Île aux Aigrettes to 94, out of an estimated 380 throughout Mauritius. Most of them can be found in the protected Black River Gorges — Mauritius’ only national park.
While such feral animals are slowly being eradicated, the more than 30 staff who work on the island on any one day concentrate most of their efforts towards preserving native species, such as the Mauritius Fody, Echo Parakeet, Telfair’s Skink, and the Mauritius Kestrel, whose numbers had dropped to just four worldwide in 1974 (there are now more than 1,000).

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