Saving the Mauritian birds

Saving the Mauritian birds
Mauritius hosts beautiful and rare endemic birds featuring bright and colourful feathers. Some of these birds were critically endangered and have been saved thanks to the conservation projects carried out by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation in close collaboration with international conservation organisations and the Government of Mauritius. This work is seen as one of the world's most successful conservation stories.
Three birds beneficiated mainly from this dedicated action. The first one was the Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus), the only bird of prey remaining in Mauritius. Once regarded as the world’s rarest bird, it became the main subject of a spectacular raptor conservation programme as from 1974. Today its population has reached around 500 individuals living mainly around the Black River Gorges and in the Bambous Mountains. The Mauritius Kestrel measures 20-26cm in length, and feeds primarily on endemic geckos.
With is bright green colour, the Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques), is a beautiful bird. It measures approximately 36cm in length. The female has a dark bill and no neck collar, whilst the male has a red bill and a multi-coloured neck collar. Some 600 individuals survive in the remnant native forest within the Black River Gorges National Park, Macchabee and Bel Ombre. This bird feeds on flowers, leaves and fruits of native and some exotic trees.
A superb looking bird with its pale pink body, brown wings and a broad rusty-brown tail, the Pink Pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri), was once widely distributed across Mauritius, before becoming restricted to the upland forest. The conservation programme has brought its population to some 400 individuals that live on flowers, leaves and fruits of native and exotic trees found in the Black River Gorges National Park as well as on Ile aux Aigrettes.