Mauritius was once home to several of the most remarkable and beautiful birds in the world. For millions of years these birds lived an unspoiled life in paradise. Mauritius was covered in dense beautiful rain-forest, which these birds called home. Then, when the settlers came to Mauritius did it all change. Most of the rain-forest were cut down to make room for sugar canes, tea and conifer plantation, this meaning that most of their natural habitat got lost.
Mauritius is one of the places on earth where human activities have had the most devastating effect on both flora and fauna. With ruined habitats and new species introduced to Mauritius, a major wave of bird extinction occurred, with the most known example being the Dodo Bird. The birds were not considered more than readily available food supply; it did therefore not take long for many of the unique bird species to be wiped out.
Habitat destruction, pesticide poisoning and hunting meant that in the 1950’s so many of the endemic birds of Mauritius were gone, that those that were left were in immediate danger of extinction. In 1974 were there only 4 of the Mauritian Kestrel left, making it the rarest bird in the world. Also the Pink Pigeon where down in low number, as well as many others of the existing birds.
In the 1970’s was a breeding program started to make an effort to save the birds. The program consisted of captive breeding, to get in the number up, followed by release and management of the birds in the wild to their natural habitat, for a chance of recovery.
The numbers of birds have been increasing, but many of Mauritius endemic birds are still battling the war against survival.
Today many of the birds that can be seen in Mauritius is introduced species, but it is though still possible to see the Endemic species of Mauritius in the wild.
One of these places is the Black River Gorges National Park, where many of bird have been released into, as it is one of the few places on Mauritius that still holds its original rain-forest. Black River is home to the Mauritian Kestrel, where the population have reached around 500 birds. In Black River you can also see the Mauritian Echo Parakeet, the Pink Pigeon and many more.
Also Ile aux Aigrettes, a nature reserve, situated in the Mahebourg Bay is home to many endemic species of Mauritius, including the endemic birds. Ile aux Aigrettes is therefore a great place for nature lovers and bird watchers; because the small island has been reserved as it was like before the colonization of Mauritius.
When walking the tails of Ile aux Aigrettes can the positive effort of reintroducing many of the bird species be seen, as you will be able to see birds as the Pink Pigeon, The Olive White-Eye, The Mauritian Fody and many more.
Endemic Birds of Mauritius
The Mauritius Kestrel
The Pink Pigeon
The Mauritius Parakeet
The Mauritius Cockoo-Shrike
The Mauritius Bulbul
The Mauritius Olive White-Eye
The Mauritius Olive Gray White-Eye
The Mauritius Fody