A $1 billion US-based startup trying to bring back the iconic dodo bird from extinction has partnered with a conservation nonprofit in Mauritius to ensure the species has a sustainable home for rewilding once it succeeds.
On the Indian Ocean island — home to the dodo until its extinction in 1662 — the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation strives to preserve the country’s endangered plant and animal species. Over a span of three decades, the MWF saved the kestrel from the brink of extinction, and it’s now the national bird.
Backers of the MWF include the MCB Group Ltd., Standard Bank Group Ltd., United Nations Environment Programme and the European Union, according to its website.
Through the partnership, Texas-based Colossal Biosciences Inc. and the MWF “will also collaborate on the restoration of critical ecosystems through invasive species removal, revegetation and community-awareness efforts,” the organization said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. “These habitats will support dodo populations as well as other native Mauritian species.”
According to the American Museum of National History, the dodo is “a lesson in extinction.” The bird, related to pigeons, grew larger and became flightless due to lack to predators in Mauritius. It was found by Dutch soldiers around 1600 and became extinct less than 80 years later “because of deforestation, hunting and destruction of their nests by animals brought to the island by the Dutch.”
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