If you are a bird lover, you have probably heard the exciting news that Seychelles Paradise flycatchers have fledged successfully on Denis Island, Seychelles. If you haven’t and are wondering what this is all about, here’s the story.
The Seychelles Paradise-Flycatcher – known as the Vev here – is a Critically Endangered (CE) bird only known to be found breeding on one of the islands – La Digue.
To be listed as CE means that the birds face an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. So to improve the flycatchers’ chances, 23 birds were translocated last year from La Digue to Denis, where it was hoped they would thrive and improve the status of this species. Upon release on Denis, it was reported that “they flew straight up onto tree branches, preened, then moved off and began to feed”. Some of the birds also appeared to have paired up almost immediately. Results of the pairing up bore fruit in April this year when two nests and egg laying was reported. Happily, we can now say we have “typical normal and healthy flycatcher chicks” on Denis.
Photos: Re-hydration and release of the Vev on Denis
Female just released on Denis
“We are well on the way to saving the Flycatcher”, says the species guardian and Nature Seychelles CEO, Nirmal Shah. What does this mean in terms of conservation results? “Well in the next two years or so I believe we would have no Critically Endangered (CE) birds left in Seychelles- a huge success considering that once upon a time Seychelles had more CE bird species than any country in Africa except Madagascar. This proves that conservation works. We can make it happen”.
You can read more about the trans- location and preparatory work that ended in this success at our website here. Another story by Birdlife can be found here
The translocation was funded by Darwin Initiative and led by the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) and Nature Seychelles. Partners and collaborators include Denis Island Development Limited, the La Digue Development Board, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Edited to add a link to a previous Reuters report on the translocation:
Reuters.com – Saving the Seychelles’ emblem. One of the world’s rarest birds, the paradise flycatcher, was once a common site in gardens on the island of the Seychelles. Around 250 species of the birds exist today and building work on the islands is threatening their habitat. Jasleen Sethi for Reuters television has this report from La Digue, an island in the Seychelles archipelago.