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Another dove/pigeon species threatened with extinction. I do hope they succeed in reintroducing them back into the wild, however, their habitat needs to be restored and protected in order for them to be successful. I wish them all the best with their efforts!

A very pretty dove species!

ZSL London Zoo successfully breeds ‘extinct’ Mexican dove

Monday 30 October 2006

Bird keepers at ZSL London Zoo are delighted to have bred a dove that died out in the wild three decades ago. It’s a first for the zoo and keepers hope it will mark a change in fortunes for the beleaguered bird.

Socorro DoveThe Socorro dove (Zenaida graysoni) has been extinct in the wild for more than 30 years, and was last sighted in its natural habitat in 1972. Endemic to Socorro in the Revillagigedo Islands, 600 miles off the western coast of Mexico, there are now thought to be less than 100 in captivity and successful breeding is vital to a plan to reintroduce them to the wild.

Zoo keepers have named the new dove Arnie, in reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous catchphrase “I’ll be back”, because they hope that that successful captive breeding will mean Socorro doves could soon be back in the wild. As part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) breeding programme working towards reintroduction, Arnie’s descendants could end up living back in the forests of Socorro.

Socorro doves died out after falling prey to a rising number of feral cats in the area, populations of which have now begun to be brought under control. Overgrazing sheep also destroyed much of their forest floor habitat and the birds were also hunted by humans for food. Work is already underway to eradicate both sheep and cats from the island completely before reintroduction.

The Zoological Society of London’s Curator of Birds, John Ellis, said: “This is an enormous success for ZSL London Zoo and a real tribute to the hard work and expertise of our keepers. I would like to think that this captive breeding success marks a change in the fortunes of the Socorro dove and we are delighted to be playing our part in the reintroduction programme.”

The Socorro Dove is officially listed as extinct in the wild on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

The dove is not the only species categorised as extinct in the wild held in the collection at ZSL London Zoo. Partula snails from the south Pacific islands are also held here as part of a captive breeding and reintroduction programme. ZSL released the first captive-bred partulas into an area protected from the carnivorous rosy wolf snail on the island of Moorea in August 1994. The rosy wolf snail was an introduced species that predated on partula snails.

From: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo//news/london-zoo-successfully-breeds-extinct-mexican-dove,314,NS.html

And another article:

Plan to save bird extinct in wild

Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Socorro dove chick

Edinburgh Zoo has produced 11 Socorro chicks in its breeding programme

Edinburgh Zoo has joined forces with Paignton Zoo in Devon and zoos abroad in a bid to save a bird that has been extinct in the wild for 30 years.

The Socorro dove, which originates from Socorro Island off Mexico, died out in the wild in the 1970s as a result of human disturbance and habitat loss.

Several were held in private collections and breeding pairs were formed to sustain the population.

Edinburgh Zoo has produced 11 chicks to date.

Socorro dove

In the next stage of the reintroduction, five birds from Edinburgh Zoo and seven birds from Paignton Zoo were flown to California in October and have now been transferred to Albuquerque Zoo in New Mexico.

The birds will form a satellite population outside Europe and their offspring could be the first Socorro doves to be seen on their ancestral home.

Edinburgh Zoo’s head bird keeper Colin Oulton said: “The Socorro Dove Project demonstrates how the zoo world and conservation community can work closely with each other to bring species back from the brink of extinction.

“It’s further evidence of the increasing role that zoos like Edinburgh and Paignton can play in saving species from disappearing off the face of the planet.

“The glimmer of hope held by all involved in the Socorro Dove Project is that this little brown dove will once again be found on its ancestral island, and that glimmer just got a bit brighter.

“Breeding Socorro doves can be tricky as the males are notoriously aggressive in their pursuit of mates.”

Paignton Zoo curator of birds Jo Gregson said: “This project shows how conservationists around the world work together.

“It’s important that we try to save every single threatened species, not just the well-known charismatic ones. Every species has the right to survive.”

From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7750390.stm