Socorro Doves Reintroduction
The Socorro Dove, extinct on its native island in the Pacific, is soon to be reintroduced there thanks to a captive breeding program. From the news:
"The Socorro Dove became extinct more than 30 years ago in its home in a remote Pacific island chain known as Mexico's Galapagos.
"Fewer than 100 adult birds now exist in captivity around the world. But in 2007 it is to be reintroduced to Socorro, 600 miles west of the Mexican coast, following a successful breeding programme involving Edinburgh Zoo." ...
"Around 20 of the small brown doves will be released first into specially constructed aviaries to adapt to island conditions. Once acclimatised they will be set free to attempt to form a new breeding colony." ...
"The uninhabited island was discovered in the 16th century by Spanish explorers, but the dove was first described by a 19th-century American naturalist, Andrew Jackson Grayson, at work in the Pacific about 20 years after Charles Darwin began logging the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, which is thousands of miles to the south.
"The bird was spread across the 157-square-mile island, but flocks of sheep introduced in 1869 started destroying the natural habitat of the ground-nesting species.
"Then, in 1957, the Mexican Navy moved in, setting up a base and building an airstrip. The 250 personnel brought their families and pet cats, which bred and spread into the wild.
"The last sighting of a Socorro Dove was by a scientific expedition in 1972. It was declared extinct in the early 1980s." ...
"It is hoped the return of the dove will mark a turn in the island's ecological fortunes. Several other species from there are endangered, including the Socorro Mockingbird, which number fewer than 400, the Socorro Parakeet, the Socorro Elf and the Townsend's Shearwater."
[Full news posted to StrangeArk archive.]