Seychelles Tries to Save Endangered Bird
VICTORIA Wildlife experts in the Seychelles have launched a last ditch attempt to save a rare tropical bird facing possible extinction in the Indian Ocean archipelago, conservationists said on Wednesday.
There are only about 200 Paradise Flycatchers left -- all of them confined to La Digue, the third largest of the Seychelles' 115 palm-fringed islands. Experts say that makes them especially vulnerable to disease or a natural disaster.
Islanders are being urged to fell fewer trees and use fewer of the insecticides that threaten the habitat and food of the bird -- called Zwazi Linet, "the bespectacled one", in the local Creole language.
"The species could be wiped out in a blink. This is a last ditch attempt to save it," Nimal Shahm, chief executive officer of environment group Nature Seychelles, told Reuters.
He said residents of sleepy La Digue -- which boasts only six cars and attracts many tourists with its laidback lifestyle -- had resisted attempts to breed the bird on other islands.
They wanted to keep it exclusive to La Digue, he said, where its name adorns guesthouses, boats and cafes.