5 Sep 2017
By Jean Hugues Gardenne and Obaka Torto
Re-introducing birds to suitable habitats where species have gone extinct is often a very important and sometimes a last resort to sustain the survival of some threatened Mauritian bird species. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF), the BirdLife International Partner in Mauritius, has a long and successful track record of exploiting bird translocation opportunities at any given time.
In recent years, MWF has worked with other partners in the country like the National Parks and Conservation Service of the Ministry of Agro Industry and Food Security, the CIEL Group, the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), HSBC, Chester Zoo (UK),and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), to translocate several Mauritian birds, including the Pink Pigeon, Echo Parakeet, Cuckoo Shrike and Paradise Flycatcher from the Black River Gorges National Park in the south west to the east of the island, in Ferney Valley (Bambous Mountains). This strategy has helped to create new subpopulations and increased the total population of some bird species, as it contributes to their distribution, saves them from extinction and loss of genetic diversity.