In 2014 I shared a milestone with a very special event: the 30th anniversary of the Pink Pigeon’s recovery project.
In 1984, the pink pigeon Nesoenas mayeri, was on the brink of extinction but with people’s help it has bounced back. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust celebrated the milestone with a special report.
When many people think of a ‘pigeon’, they think of the feral pigeons we associate with our cities, you know, the ones missing a foot at the railway station. But they can be very attractive as this very lucky survivor turned out to be.
I worked as a field biologist with the pink pigeon team with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation between 2007 and 2009, living and breathing pigeon biology, living in remote field stations on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, which is around 1000 miles from Madagascar.
The population was down to just 13 birds during the ’80s and early ’90s. With help from Gerald Durrell and his legacy Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, lead by charasmatic welshman and Indianpolis Prize-winner Carl Jones, and a hoard of Mauritian and ex-pat volunteers and staff, the population has stablised at over 400 birds and was downlisted to endangered from critically endangered. That’s a real conservation success story!
For more successes from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust see this round-up…