Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Rare pink pigeons bred at Jersey Zoo returned to the wild

Three pink pigeons bred at Jersey Zoo have been returned to their native island of Mauritius Credit: Jersey Zoo

Three pink pigeons bred at Jersey Zoo have been returned to their native island of Mauritius.

They're the descendants of birds brought to Jersey Zoo by Gerald Durrell in the late 1970s. It was around this time that the pink pigeon was considered to be one of the rarest birds in the world, with just ten individuals thought to remain in the wild. The population declined rapidly due to deforestation and the introduction of invasive predators.

There are now 470 pink pigeons in the wild. The species has been downlisted from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2018.

Durrell has held this beautiful pigeon for 40 years and is incredibly proud to be returning these birds to ensure the genetic health, and survival of this enigmatic species in its homeland. This repatriation will hopefully be the first of many, and is an example of the vital role zoos can play in helping to prevent the extinction of a species.

– Harriet Whitford, Durrell’s Deputy Head of Birds