As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Little red bird no more: No trace of invasive species on outer Seychelles island

Assumption, Seychelles | December 15, 2015, Tuesday @ 15:52 in Environment » CONSERVATION | By: Fabienne Fardial | Views: 1665

(Seychelles News Agency) - Don’t go looking for a little red bird with dark black eyes on the Aldabra Atoll.

A recent Seychelles Island Foundation survey has found no trace of the Madagascar Fody – also known as the red cardinal Fody – a foreign species often viewed as a pest that competes for food with native wildlife.

The Aldabra atoll is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and haven for bird life. It’s one of the many natural beauties the western Indian Ocean nation of the Seychelles boasts.

The November survey – conducted at the end of an eradication project against the Madagascar Fody -- didn’t find any evidence that the little red bird is present on Assumption, one of Seychelles’ outer islands.

Rowana Walton, a communications officer at the Seychelles Islands Foundation, told SNA in an interview on Monday that several months after the eradication project had started on Assumption Island the foundation’s staff found about a 100 Madagascar Fodies on Aldabra in an area not often visited.

“We found that the Madagascar Fody that had reached Aldabra had hybridized with the Aldabra Fody ... but luckily with doing the eradication on both Aldabra and Assumption we have now mitigated that threat” of cross-breeding, said Walton.

It is not known how the Madagascar Fody was introduced to the Seychelles. Its eradication will be confirmed only after more surveys are done in 2016.

The eradication programme, a European Union-funded project that began in 2012, appears to have eliminated two introduced species, the Madagascar Fody and the red whiskered bulbul.

In December 2014 it was confirmed that the last red-whiskered bulbul of an estimated population of 4,032 had been eradicated from Assumption. In January 2015 it was estimated that one to three fodies remained of an estimated population of 3,017.

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