Critically Endangered Species

  • nkgray
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3 years 6 months ago #86731 by nkgray
nkgray created the topic: Critically Endangered Species
I am not a great fan of keeping birds in aviaries, particularly when it is just purely for the fact that the birds are colourful (parrot family) or strange-looking (hornbills, toucans) so that they will attract people to come and see them. However, I am very supportive when it comes to birds that are critically endangered in the wild and aviaries world-wide are collaborating on captive breeding programmes with a view to re-introduction of viable breeding populations back into the wild.

In the past couple of weeks I have been to 3 different aviaries in southern England where I have seen such work in action. Here are 7 birds that are Critically Endangered and for some of them worldwide aviary populations outnumber those estimated to be left in the wild.

I begin with the Socorro Dove which is now classified as Extinct in the Wild. It was a former native species of Socorro Island one of the Revillagigedo Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Mexico.

The numbers of Bali Myna left in the wild in 2012 was estimated at 24 adult birds on Bali and a further 100 on other Balinese islands. Birds held legally in captivity are around 1000, with at least double this number held illegally by private individuals, a measure of what the trade in cage birds can do.

Baer's Pochard is native to South-east Asia. A recent census in China came up with only 152 birds in the wild, with unconfirmed reports that since 2008 when this species went from Vulnerable to Endangered as many as 3000 birds per year have been hunted. It was listed as Critically Endangered in 2012.

The Blue-crowned Laughingthrush is a Chinese species with no more than 200 left in the wild and around 100 in aviaries worldwide in captive breeding programmes.

The West Indian Montserrat Oriole has a current estimated population of between 200 and 800. Much of its habitat was destroyed by deforestation, Hurricane Hugo and the volcanic activity of La Soufriere volcano between 1995 and 1997.

The Northern Bald Ibis or Waldrapp was once widespread across the Middle East and north Africa, but today there are fewer than 500 in southern Morocco and less than 10 in Syria. Captive breeding programmes have led to re-introduction in Turkey, Austria, Spain and northern Morocco.

Edwards's Pheasant is endemic to Vietnam where estimates put the population at anything from 50 to 250 birds. Captive breeding of this species has been highly successful. Below are a male and a female.


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  • Doug
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3 years 6 months ago #86732 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Critically Endangered Species
Sad but nice to see efforts to save some of the endangered species.

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  • NickyO
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3 years 6 months ago #86733 by NickyO
NickyO replied the topic: Re: Critically Endangered Species
I definitely agree with you on keeping critically endangered birds in captivity for breeding purposes. Lovely pictures by the way!

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