Pink Pigeon

2000 CEMauritius

"Back in the 1980s there were just ten or so pink pigeons left in the wild. Known to scientists as Nesoenas mayeri, the species is found only on Mauritius, the Indian Ocean island that was once home to the dodo. Like the dodo, the pink pigeon made an easy target for cats, rats and other predators introduced by humans, who also chopped down almost all of their native forest. Unlike the dodo, however, the pink pigeon has since made a remarkable recovery. Fortunately, the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation had already taken 12 birds from the wild in the 1970s and 80s to establish a captive population. The offspring of these birds were then released during the 1990s and early 2000s and there are now at least 400 living in the wild. The species has even been officially down-listed twice, from "critically endangered" to "vulnerable"." Despite the pigeon's recovery, the species is still vulnerable. Recent studies revealed that the Pink pigeon has a high genetic load of bad mutation due to the historic population bottleneck, which puts the species at an extinction risk within the next 100 years without rigorous conservation efforts.

Cock Van Oosterhout and Jim Groombridge, "Mauritius: Pink Pigeons in Mauritius Made a Remarkable Comeback From Near-Extinction - but Are Still Losing Genetic Diversity," The Conversation, May 13, 2022.

Olivia Miller, "Pink pigeon population increases but extinction risk remains high," University of Kent News Centre, May 13, 2022.

Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons