New Hope For One Of The World’s Rarest Bird Species As International Team Of Conservationists Hand-Rear Chick

A team of conservationists has successfully hand-reared a critically endangered bird. The blue-eyed ground dove was a species shrouded in mystery, with no confirmed records for more than 70 years, until it was rediscovered in 2015. With a known population of only around 15 individuals in the wild, the species is at serious risk of extinction and is listed as critically endangered on the global red list - the highest level of threat. Now, a team of conservationists from Chester Zoo, SAVE Brasil, Parque das Aves, Instituto Claravis, Toledo Zoo and Bronx Zoo have joined forces to provide a lifeline for the species. Working in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the team carefully incubated an egg taken from the wild under licence. Using techniques refined with other species of doves, the team fed the chick a diet that mimics the crop milk regurgitated by adult doves for their young. The chick grew quickly and will join the other two as the nucleus of an insurance population - a population in human care to safeguard against the risk of extinction. As the population is so small, only a few eggs can be taken each year, but the team hopes to repeat their success and establish breeding pairs in secure aviaries, producing chicks which can be used to reinforce the wild population and reduce its risk of extinction.