Mauritius Paradise Flycatcher: A hidden gem of Mauritius
The Mauritius paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone desolata) is a passerine bird endemic to Mauritius and is one of the five extant species of forest-living passerines native to Mauritius. This small (c.11 gram) insectivorous, territorial passerine was previously considered similar to the sub-species found in Reunion Island, but molecular evidence has shown that they significantly diverge from each other.
This finding encouraged further research on this hidden gem that survives in some of Mauritius’s most degraded forested habitats. A monitoring and translocation program was initiated in 2014 involving local and international partners. The primary program’s goal was to contribute to the Mauritius paradise flycatcher’s conservation by increasing their range and numbers by re-establishing a self-sustaining population in a new area. This research opportunity was also an opportunity to unveil the mechanism behind this species survival in highly degraded habitats hence developing its own genetic story.