Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus)
The Mauritius Kestrel was once considered the rarest bird in the world with only four individuals in the wild during the 1970’s. In order to restore the population of this endemic bird, eggs were collected from the wild, incubated at the Gerard Durrell Wildlife Bird Sanctuary, and chicks were hand reared and released in the native forest, and additional nesting sites, safe from monkeys were built. It is estimated that the population now numbers about 700 individuals in the wild, divided between the forests of the south west, and those in the south east. This small bird of prey feeds mainly on lizards and young birds which it hunts beneath the forest canopy.