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iWild: For more see iWild.org

No Dodo

The Pink Pigeon hails from the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, once the home of the Dodo. Like so many island ecosystems, Mauritius gave rise to astonishing numbers of endemic species, found nowhere else, but those creatures were terribly vulnerable to the disruption of their habitat. Many island birds are already extinct, including the Mauritius Blue Pigeon and the Reunion Pigeon. Today’s Endangered All-Star came close to the edge. A forest bird, the Pink relied on a large variety of native plants. When those were razed for agriculture, the pigeon ran out of options. By 1991, there were ten left. Then help arrived, in the form of a concerted conservation effort spearheaded by the Gerald Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which enrolled this attractive seed disperser in a captive-breeding program. There are now 350 birds in the wild and hopes that someday, the bird may once again be common. In the 1990s, when I volunteered at the Central Park Zoo, a pair of Pinks was roosting and cooing in the Tropic Zone, the color of a cloud of tulle. Long may they fly.
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