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The Echo Parakeet

Parrots magazine March 2011

– brought back from the brink

Just over a decade ago, the Echo Parakeet (Psittacula eques) from Mauritius was considered the rarest parrot in the world, and on the brink of extinction, and any thoughts of reversing the situation were deemed hopeless. But, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the World Parrot Trust decided otherwise, and sent in a highly-skilled team to tackle the crisis head-on. And, having committed much of their limited funds to the project, against all the odds, turned it into a massive success story, which is currently being hailed as the world’s most successful parrot conservation programme to date.

“In 1990, when DWCT asked us to help finance, and work with them, to save the Echo Parakeet, there were a maximum of 12 individuals left, and only 2-3 females,” explained Alison Hales, Chairman, WPT. “But, with a blend of ingenious scientific and avicultural initiatives and a series of outstanding hand-rearing experts, Carl Jones MBE, and his outstanding team from Mauritius, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, have seen the population of Echo Parakeets steadily rise, and the latest 2010 count revealed that there are now 500 Echo parakeets living in the wild, including 130 recently fledged youngsters.”

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