TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Saving What Remains
The Mauritius KestrelThe Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, 500 miles east of Madagascar (off the east African coast), has been severely affected by forest loss. Once home to the famous dodo, the island's wildlife is some of the most endangered in the world. One species, the Mauritius kestrel, a small falcon, has been brought back from the edge of extinction.
The Mauritius kestrel suffered from habitat loss, the introduction of monkeys and mongooses which ate its eggs, hunting as a pest, and widespread spraying of DDT. By 1973, the world population of the Mauritius kestrel was down to six birds. The situation was so grim that in 1979, the International Council for Bird Preservation sent Carl Jones to shut down the effort to save the bird. Luckily for the kestrel, Jones refused to follow orders. He developed a breeding program and brought the species from the verge of extinction to more than 200 wild birds in the early 1990s.
Continued: Saving rainforests
Unless otherwise specified, this article was written by Rhett A. Butler [Bibliographic citation for this page]
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