Pink Pigeon (Pigeon des Mares)

Nesoenas mayeri

Photo: Ragendranath Bhowanydeen

Pink Pigeon

Species type: Bird
Species (Common name): Pink Pigeon, Pigeon des Mares
Scientific name: Nesoenas mayeri
Endemism: Mauritian Endemic
Conservation status: Endangered

Description: The pink pigeon is a medium-sized bird growing to about 30 cm in length and weighing about 350 grams. It has a light pink head, neck and underparts and a very pink beak. It has a brown back which fades to a rusty coloured tail. The female is a little duller than the male. It nests in trees and eats leaves and fruits from a variety of species preferring native vegetation. Although it can fly it is not a particularly strong flier and can often be found walking on the ground.

Fun facts:

  1. The pink pigeon is the only remaining native Mascarenes pigeon species that has escaped extinction. The most famous of these extinct pigeons is of course the dodo.
  2. In 1991 only about 10 pink pigeons remained in the wild. Due to a very successful species recovery programme the population had risen to nearly 500 individuals in 2014.
  3. Pink pigeons are still dependent upon intensive management for their survival. Management measures still undertaken include supplementary feeding, the provision of nest boxes and the management of introduced predators such as rats.
  4. Pink pigeons can be seen in the Black River Gorges National Park. They are frequently found close to the park entrance at Le Pétrin. They can also be found on Ile aux Aigrettes and there are plans to introduce them to La Vallée de Ferney and Bras d’Eau National Park.